Bassett was a United States congressman, 1902-1905, and served on the Public Service
Commission of New York, during which time he aided in the development of the dual subway
plan in New York City. He was vice-chairman of the Brooklyn Committee on City Plan,
whose report was published in 1914; chairman of the Heights of Buildings Commission in
New York City, whose final report, 1916, presented the first Zoning Resolution of the
City of New York, also the first comprehensive zoning ordinance in the United States.
Most of his work, both private and on committees, concerns city planning, zoning and the
legal issues surrounding these fields.