Ordinance for the speedier erection of buildings on vacant lots in New Amsterdam

Scanned Document:

Whereas the honorable lord director general and councilors of New Netherland have long before this admonished the commonalty by ordinance about their lots on the island of Manhattan that have been previously laid out too spacious, and larger than can be built upon by some inhabitants; and whereas some persons are desirous to build and there is hardly any place to be found here where a house can be suitably constructed.

Therefore, the aforesaid lord director general and councilors have deemed it advisable to inform everyone, for the last time, to build on their lots properly and sufficiently, or in default thereof the lord director general and councilors shall assign suitable places to people who are desirous to build houses in this city of New Amsterdam, and to allow the present proprietor reasonable compensation for the same, at the discretion of the street surveyor. Let everyone be hereby warned; and if anyone has the intention to build, please register their names at the secretary’s office, which being done shall impose proper order thereon.

Thus done in session, and published and posted the 15th of December 1648 in New Amsterdam in New Netherland.[1]


Also in LO, 105. See also ordinance of July 25,1647 in Laws and Writs of Appeal, 12 (hereafter cited as LWA).


Translation: Gehring, C., trans./ed., New Netherland Documents Series: Vol. 16, part 1, Laws and Writs of Appeal, 1647-1663 (Syracuse: 1991).A complete copy of this publication is available on the New Netherland Institute website.