The Dutch settlers landed on the tip of Manhattan in 1623, naming their new home New Amsterdam and lining up a battery of canons to defend it. Historic Battery Park (now known as The Battery) was where the early immigrants landed, and Castle Clinton, built with the intention of preventing a British invasion in 1812, was where immigrants were first directed before Ellis Island was built.
Today, the twenty-three acre park is the largest public open space in the Downtown section of Manhattan and Castle Clinton is the most visited National Park Service site in the country, receiving over three-million people annually. In keeping with its history, we’ve put together 10 things you might like to see and do in The Battery this Summer.
10. Castle Clinton Never Fired Upon An Enemy
Castle Clinton Image via The National Park Service
Built in anticipation of the war of 1812, Southwest Battery never had occasion to fire upon the enemy. In 1817 the fort was renamed Castle Clinton in honor of Dewitt Clinton, Mayor and later Governor of New York. In 1823, the fort was deeded to New York City, and the following year its name was changed to Castle Garden to reflect its rebirth as a restaurant and entertainment center. With a large influx of immigrants landing at docks near Castle Clinton, it reopened as a landing depot and the official immigrant processing center in August of 1855. The Federal Government took over control of the immigration processing, and the function of processing was moved to a larger and more isolated facility, Ellis Island.