Elemental Manhattan Project Merges Street Grid with Periodic Table

Posted on: September 7th, 2011 at 10:18 am by

What follows is likely the nerdiest public project you’ll read about all month, drawing inspiration from chemistry class. So if the Periodic Table of Elements and playing with electrons doesn’t get you going in the morning, this new urban experiment is probably not for you.

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The concept behind Elemental Manhattan was born last year, when Professor Pieper of Columbia spotted some graffiti on the Lower East Side which resembled one of the elements.  This brush with vandalism inspired the professor of historic preservation to lay the Periodic Table over the Manhattan Street grid.  That and the fact that this year marks the bi-centennial of the Commissioner’s Plan which established the grid system as it is today.

Elemental Manhattan is a crowd-sourced game of sorts.  Here’s how it works.  Pair up the elements to create a desired reaction, then travel to the area represented by those chemicals.  Coax your friends to do the same. When you get there, assume the identity of the element and react in any way you see fit.  Strange.

For the moment, the public chemistry experiment is relegated to the swath of real estate between 14th and 59th Street on the north-south, and 1st and 10th Avenue on the east-west.

Alright, can we start lighting Magnesium with Bunsen Burners already?

Elemental Manhattan Map Coordinates

[via New Scientist]

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