From the 1874 Mitchell Atlas of the World,this hand colored map of New York City and Brooklyn shows great optimism. A thoughtful and interesting gift, the archival reproduction print is from the map you see here.
Ranking third in public assembly building fires, the catastrophic Brooklyn Theater Fire of 1876 claimed just under 300 lives. A common grave was constructed for 103 unidentified victims. The fatalities centered primarily around the family circle, rows of inexpensive seating positioned high in the theater. Exit from the gallery, which held some 400 people, was in the form of a single stairwell, which sustained extreme temperatures and suffocating smoke early in the disaster. The small stairwell was immediately jammed with people, cutting off the escape of the majority of occupants. Those remaining in the gallery rapidly succumbed to smoke inhalation and died. The fire had taken place near the start of the performance, a production of The Two Orphans. A gas light ignited some extra scenery stored behind the stage. The fire was only discovered midway through the play after it had spread sufficiently. Fire raged through the night, completely destroying the building.
Archival print from high-resolution scan. 15" x 24"