5. Battery Weed

Photograph Courtesy of National Parks Service

Designed by Joseph G. Totten between 1847-1864, Fort Wadsworth is one of the oldest military installations in the nation. The site occupies 226 acres on the northeastern shore of Staten Island, on the Narrows of New York Harbor. Rich in history and natural beauty, Fort Wadsworth affords the opportunity to observe an important part of our nation’s history, while offering magnificent views of New York Harbor. Fort Wadsworth contains a National Register Historic District that is characterized by resources primarily associated with the coastal defense system and its protection of New York Harbor for some 200 years. The site is remarkable for the conspicuous bluff that rises approximately 150 feet from the coastline.

Battery Weed lies at the toe of the slope; Fort Tompkins is located at the highest point. Both represent major third system fortifications listed on the National Register and retain much of their historic character. Battery Weed, begun in 1847, is one of the earliest structures that remains intact at Fort Wadsworth. Battery Weed’s construction involved the use of granite blocks in a half-hexagon shape and included a central parade ground. At the time of its completion (1861-1864) it included 116 cannons, three tiers of casemates, and a fourth barbette tier, each with gun emplacements. Battery Weed is also recognized as a New York City Landmark for its “special historical, aesthetic interest and value as part of the development, heritage and cultural characteristics of New York City.”

Guided tours of Battery Weed will be conducted by National Park Service rangers at 10am, 12pm, and 2pm on Sunday, October 20th.