2. Fort Wadsworth

One of the oldest military installations in the country, Fort Wadsworth occupies 226 acres of Staten Island’s northeastern shore on the Narrows of New York Harbor. It was fortified by the British in 1779 and served as the prime defensive location throughout the rest of the Revolutionary War. The original fort that stood was demolished and reconstructed as Fort Richmond between the years 1847 and 1862. In 1865, three years following its construction, the structure was renamed Fort Wadsworth in honor of Brevet Major General James Wadsworth.

Although the structure was occupied in some capacity until 1995, it was mostly left unused and eventually fell into disrepair. That same year, it was turned over to the National Park Service’s Gateway National Recreation Area. While its third system forts (Battery Weed and Fort Tompkins) are well maintained and partially occupied by the Coast Guard, Army Reserve, and Park Police, other sections are abandoned and remain off-limits to the public.