9. Liberty Island

Liberty IslandLiberty Island c. 1930; the Army buildings were demolished soon after. Image via: U.S. Library of Congress

Walking around the base of the Statue of Liberty today, it isn’t hard to imagine the military presence that once was on the island. The star shape fort around the base predates the statue by many generations and is a remnant of Fort Wood, built in 1807. It became one of the harbor forts to protect the city.

One company of Signal Corps troops was stationed at Fort Wood, and this was where local aviators were ordered to report for wartime service. During the war the post was an important part of the coastal defense and worked with other military bases in the region to protect the harbor. The Army decommissioned the post in 1937 and its barracks were demolished. A museum will open in the spot in 2019.