7. Fort Jay/Governors Island

Photo via Wikimedia Commons from Library of Congress

The first fortifications were built on Governors Island by the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. In 1794, Congress authorized upgrades to these earthenworks to prepare for a possible British or French invasion. The result was Fort Jay, which was constructed using sandstone and granite in 1808 and would be renovated throughout the following decades. Fort Jay was named for John Jay the Federalist governor of New York. When Thomas Jefferson and his Democratic Republicans came to power they renamed the fort after Columbus in order to erase the memory of the Federalists. John Jay’s name was restored under Theodore Roosevelt’s administration.