Maps have for over hundreds of years provided groundbreaking discoveries and past information on geographical areas. The segment dominating this area of study focuses on the analysis of changes to the City of Fredericksburg over the past 150 years. This comparative and explorative study will involve the application of on historic maps of Fredericksburg created by the Sanborn Fire Insurance Map Company and other relevant and available historical and current materials on the city. There is abidance in the fact that the City of Fredericksburg stand as a historic and cultural center that span over generations. These monumental and cultural resources include the Civil War backgrounds and prehistoric settlements.

Comparative Analysis

The analysis of the City of Fredericksburg over the past 150 years reveals a number of similarities as well as differences on the basis of the of the block as shown on the Sanborn Fire Insurance maps through time and as you see it today. One important similarity between the two maps is the plan of block 65 that remains the same as it appeared in March 1886 and as it appears after 1927. It can bee seen that City Block 65 is bordered by William Street on the north, Princess Anne Street on the east, George Street on the south and Charles Street on the west. This has been attributed to the conservative efforts aimed at preserving the rich history of the City of Fredericksburg.

The second notable similarity in the analysis of the two maps is the preservation of the economic nature of the commerce street that borders block 65 to the North. The buildings along the commerce street are predominantly occupied by sorts of business activities that demonstrate the economic demographic of the City of Fredericksburg. This is extended to the position of the bank over the 150 year period. It can be seen that despite numerous changes that have taken place in the City of Fredericksburg, the geographical position of the bank along Princess and George Street.

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Despite efforts by a number of organizations to conserve the true historical aspects of the City of Fredericksburg such as The Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, demand for more space for business activity, need to improve infrastructure and socio-political changes have placed pressure on the city. The first and most notable geographical change is the construction of the Princess Anne Hotel that stands in the middle of block 65. The second notable change in the planning of the City of Fredericksburg was the impact of the automobile. It can be seen from the comparative analysis of the two maps (1886 and 1927) that the advent of automobile brought with it the need for parking space. This is widely seen in the City of Fredericksburg 1927 map but does not feature in the 1886 map. Furthermore, the introduction of the automobile led to the construction of filling station as evident in the 1927 map of the City of Fredericksburg.

In addition to the above, increased demands for better services led to the expansion of the office block adjacent to Princess Street. The drive for the expansion and construction of new premises was precipitated by increased economic and social demands of the city residents. The 1927 map demonstrate construction of apartments adjacent to the bank. This is line with the continuous demand for better housing facilities for the residents of the City of Fredericksburg. The increasing economic activities that had placed the City of Fredericksburg in the limelight as an important city in the 18th century had attracted skilled labor.

Houses 515 along the Princess Anne Street were demolished and new offices of the law blog was constructed. The Memorial Chapel of Presbyterian Church was expanded to accommodate the increasing number of faithful. This was also precipitated by the increasingly complicated cultural lives of the residents of the City of Fredericksburg.

It can also be discerned from the comparative analysis of the two maps that the general planning of the City of Fredericksburg recorded significant changes in the 150 years captured within this analysis. From a conspicuously open city with wide lanes to a densely packed city industrial and residential city, the City of Fredericksburg evolved to not only preserve its rich historical aspects but also meet the increasing social and economic demands of its residents.  The social, economic, cultural and technological factors that have produced the changes over time in the City of Fredericksburg include the ever expending knowledge of the residents, demand for better services and the search for quality lifestyles.

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