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The History of Battery Park

Posted by Corey Brooks on Aug 9, 2016 10:00:00 AM

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Battery Park is one of the many beautiful parks in New York City. The park is located at the southern tip of Manhattan and faces the New York Harbor. Let’s look at the history of Battery Park and explore how this small park has been an invaluable part of the city’s rich history. 

Early History and Castle Clinton

In the 17th century, the area known as Battery Park was part of the Dutch Settlement of New Amsterdam. It was referred to as “The Battery,” due to the artillery batteries set in front of the settlement to protect the area.

Castle Clinton is the last remaining structure from the days when the park served as a military site. It was originally fort that was a complement to the existing military structures in the years preceding the War of 1812. The fort, originally known as West Battery, never experienced any military action and was eventually repurposed.

Throughout its long lifetime, Castle Clinton has served a variety of different purposes. Before the opening of Ellis Island, Castle Clinton served as the country’s first immigration station. Millions of immigrants arrived to America from Europe and other countries here prior to the opening of Ellis Island. The structure was named a National Monument in 1946.

Memorials in the Park

Several memorials are located throughout the park, including: The Sphere, Hope Garden, East Coast Memorial, and more.

The Sphere is a metallic sculpture that once stood close to The World Trade Center before it was damaged by debris from the planes involved in the 9/11 attacks. It has since been moved into Battery Park and is now one of many 9/11 Memorials in New York City. 

An AIDS victim memorial is also based in Battery Park called Hope Garden. East Coast Memorial is another popular tourist visit in Battery Park. Labeled as one of only three war memorials administrated by the America Battle Monuments Commission, East Coast Memorial is dedicated to World War II.

Throughout the history of Battery Park, it has been an integral part in the construction of transportation infrastructures. The Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, the Battery Park Underpass, and the Bowling Green subway station are all positioned under the park.

The long history of Battery Park is well documented and treasured. Anyone who enjoys memorials and is interested in historic locations of New York City will enjoy their visit to this quaint park. 

 

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