6. Bowling Green

Bowling Green, one of NYC's revolutionary war sites

Bowling Green is the oldest public park in New York City, designated in 1733, and it included an actual bowling green prior to the Revolutionary War. The park also contained an equestrian statue of George III dressed in Roman attire and commissioned by the British government. Many protests in opposition to British laws and taxes took place by the statue, and an iron fence was built around the park to protect the statue from vandalism, making it the oldest fence in the city.

On July 9, 1776, the Sons of Liberty toppled the statue after the Declaration of Independence was read to troops at City Hall. According to legend, the statue was chopped up and shipped to a Connecticut foundry. The statue’s head was perhaps paraded on a pike-staff. The statue was not the only controversial object in the park; on November 25, 1783, a U.S. soldier ripped down the British flag at Bowling Green and replaced it with the American flag.