9. The Bowling Green Fence

Bowling Green Fence

The Bowling Green fence has seen some drama. This cast-iron structure in the Financial District was erected in 1771 to surround a statue of George III. As revolutionary fervor took hold of New York City in 1776, a group of rebels knocked the statue down and chopped off the ornaments (either crowns or balls) which once topped the fence posts. You can still feel the jagged edges today.

The designation report from July 14, 1970 states that the fence “fared better than the statue.” We tracked down some of the statue’s remnants here. While the first subway line was being constructed between 1914 to 1919 in Lower Manhattan, the fence was moved to Central Park. Electric lanterns were installed in 1938 when the park was rebuilt, but a restoration project started in 1971 returned the park and the fence to their original designs.