8. The Bayside Historical Society Occupies a Castle

Bayside Historical Society Headquarters

Walking through the historic buildings of Fort Totten Park, one large brick structure stands out among the rest. The “Castle,” built in 1887 was originally used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as the Officer’s Mess Hall and Club. The Gothic-Revival styled building of red brick and white accents is now a designated New York City Landmark and the home of the Bayside Historical Society.

The historical society was founded in 1964 “to collect, preserve, and disseminate information concerning the history of Bayside and its adjacent communities; advocate for the preservation and protection of its most historic structures and distinctive neighborhoods… and strive to develop a broad constituency of like-minded preservation and educational organizations to protect the historic integrity of our communities and collections.” The society moved into the Castle in 1984. They use the space as a learning destination, a resource for researchers and the community, and a venue for the visual and performing arts.