9. Castle Clinton Could Have Been Demolished by Robert Moses
In 1941, master urban planner and Parks Commissioner, Robert Moses, decided to shutter the New York Aquarium in order to make way for a bridge that would span from Brooklyn to the city. However, public outcry from preservationists put a stop to this plan in favor of a tunnel instead. Moses had to move the aquarium to Coney Island, and he attempted to dismantle Castle Garden in the process, disassembling its roof and stripping away its ornate floors. All that was left over from was the fortress’ original walls.
In the face of this initial demolition, preservationists intervened yet again, stopping Moses from completely destroying the fort. In 1946, it was designated a national monument, and was later restored to its original form in the 1970’s. Following the rejection of his Brooklyn Battery Bridge proposal, Moses reverted back to his original plans to construct the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel (aka Hugh L. Carey Tunnel). So from 1940 to 1952, portions of Battery Park were closed while the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel was being built beneath them. Also, check out the secrets we dug up about the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel.