The Unbuilt Environment

I've been working on a little project: places that never existed. I came across this map of how Detroit might have looked after the fire of 1805. Reputedly this fire was started by the lighting of cigar ("segar") in a bakery near the center of the then village of Detroit. The entire wooden village was burned down, as was the nearby fort. 

The man advocating for the below rebuilding plan was August B. Woodward who clearly knew something of the L'Enfant plan featuring multiple radial avenues stemming from central plazas. These days it would be a nightmare to drive, but I think was likely very appropriate to its time. It was only partially built. The folks who owned the land it was planned for weren't so very keen. 

The Detroit "Governor and Judges' Plan". Created by Whitewallbuick

The radial street arrangement is a particular favorite of mine when making a map. I made this triptych (DC, Barcelona, Paris) specifically because of the elements present in each city. In this case, radial streets matched with roundabouts. Obviously it was crying out to be made into a paper cut:  

Detroit papercut plan

I admit to mixed luck with patterns when I cut them. One of my first attempts was a small sheet of paper that now lives inside a black glass vase because you can't tell how bad it was behind several centimeters of smoky glass. I love them, but they are not easy. In Istanbul I started a small love affair with them, because if anyone knows patterns, it's the Ottomans: 

That aside, there's something wonderful about making maps of places that never were. It's a whole little world of possibility.