Located at the very southern tip of Manhattan and overlooking the harbor and the Hudson River, Battery Park is sometimes called "the emerald doorstep of the metropolis." Battery Park earned its name when cannons were first installed to protect the harbor in 1683. In 1788, the structure known as Fort Amsterdam and later Fort George was razed to fill in and expand the area's shoreline. More landfill projects continued, expanding the Battery by more than ten acres. Today, even with these expansions, Battery Park's 20 acres hardly seem to compare to one of Manhattan's other famous parks, Central Park, at a massive 843 acres. But as the adage goes, it's not the size of the park that matters; it's how you use it.
Throughout its history, Battery Park and its structures have been used in many ways. In preparation for the War of 1812, Castle Clinton was built; it lived many lives: first as a promenade, then as a beer garden, a theatre, the nation's first immigration center, an aquarium, and today spends its golden years as a National Monument and a ticket booth for ferry rides to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.
Aside from its history, visitors to Battery Park can appreciate its many monuments including the Korean War Memorial, the Coast Guard Memorial, an original Battery Park Cannon, and the Hope Garden, a memorial to AIDS victims. Visitors may also stroll through many lush gardens, attend the occasional concert or cultural performance, or just get away from the busy metropolis for a few minutes to reflect and enjoy nature.
- Subway Stop:
- R, W to Whitehall Street / South Ferry
- 1 to South Ferry Station
- Location: Battery Place, State Street and Whitehall Street
- Phone: 212-344-3491
- Website: www.thebattery.org