The Full Wiki

Battery Park: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The James Watson House, 1793–1806, attributed to John McComb Jr. and adjoining shrine to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton face Battery Park.
The Sphere and eternal flame 9/11 memorial
Statue of John Ericsson in Battery Park, holding a model of USS Monitor in his hand
Korean War memorial

Battery Park is a 25-acre (10 hectare) public park located at the Battery, the southern tip of Manhattan Island in New York City, facing New York Harbor. The Battery is named for the artillery battery that was stationed there at various times by the Dutch and British in order to protect the settlements behind it. At the north end of the park is Pier A, formerly a fireboat station and Hope Garden, a memorial to AIDS victims. At the other end is Battery Gardens restaurant, next to the United States Coast Guard Battery Building. Along the waterfront, ferries depart for the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. There is also a stop on the New York Water Taxi route between the Statue of Liberty Ferry and Pier A.

To the northwest of the park lies Battery Park City, a planned community built on landfill in the 1970s and 80s, which includes Robert F. Wagner Park and the Battery Park City Promenade. Together with Hudson River Park, a system of greenspaces, bikeways and promenades now extend up the Hudson shoreline. A bikeway is being built through the park that will connect the Hudson River and East River parts of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway. Across State Street to the northeast stands the old U.S. Customs House, now used as a branch of the National Museum of the American Indian and the district U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Peter Minuit Plaza abuts the southeast end of the park, directly in front of the South Ferry Terminal of the Staten Island Ferry.

Contents

History

The southern shoreline of Manhattan Island had long been known as the Battery, and was a popular promenade since at least the 17th century. At the time, it served as protection to the town.[1] The Battery was the center of Evacuation Day celebrations commemorating the departure of the last British troops in the United States after the American Revolutionary War. The relatively modern park was created by landfill during the 19th century, resulting in a landscaped open space at the foot of the heavily developed mainland of downtown. Skyscrapers now occupy most of the original land, stopping abruptly where the park begins. On State Street, the former harbor front and the northern boundary of the park, a single Federal mansion survives (illustration, right) as the Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. Until the 1820s, the city's stylish residential district lay north of this house, between Broadway and the "North River" (now known as the Hudson River).

1793 rendering of the flagpole and recent plantings at the Battery

Within the park lies Castle Clinton, an American fort built on a small artificial off-shore island immediately prior to the War of 1812 and named for mayor DeWitt Clinton. When the land of Battery Park was created, it enclosed the island.

The fort became property of the city after the war and was renamed Castle Garden. Leased by the city it became a popular promenade and beer garden. Later roofed-over, it became one of the premier theatrical venues in the United States and contributed greatly to the development of New York City as the theater capital of the nation. The migration of the city's elite uptown increased concurrently with the mass European emigration of the middle 19th century. As immigrants settled the Battery area, the location was less favorable to theater patrons and Castle Garden was closed. The structure was then made into the world's first immigration depot, processing millions of immigrants beginning in 1855 - almost 40 years before its successor, Ellis Island, opened its doors. This period coincided with immigration waves resulting from the Great Hunger in Ireland (a.k.a., "The Irish Famine") and other pivotal European events. The structure then housed the New York Aquarium until the 1940s, when it was threatened with destruction. It is currently a National Monument known again by its original name, and managed by the National Park Service. In addition to a small history exhibit and occasional concerts, the fort is the site where ferry tickets are sold to visit Liberty and Ellis islands.

The Battery is featured in the famous show tune from the musical On the Town, "New York, New York," which includes the line "… the Bronx is up and the Battery's down" for its southerly location. It is also mentioned in John Mayer's song "City Love," which includes the lyric "From the Battery to the Gallery" in reference to the entirety of Manhattan Island as well as the lyric "… from the Battery to the top of Manhattan" in The Beastie Boys anthem "Open Letter to NYC".

Five months after being damaged but not destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Fritz Koenig's The Sphere, which once stood at the center of the plaza of the World Trade Center a few blocks away, was reinstalled in a temporary location along Eisenhower Mall in the northern section of the park. There, along with an eternal flame, it serves to memorialize the victims of 9/11. Following the completion of the National September 11 Memorial, The Sphere will be returned to its original location.

Under Battery Park

Battery Park, due to its key location, has played an important role in the construction of transportation infrastructure. Under the park, there is the following active infrastructure:

Advertisements

The discovered wall

On December 8, 2005, New York City authorities announced that builders working on a new South Ferry Subway Station in Battery Park had found the remains of a 200-year-old stone wall.[2]

"This wall most likely is a portion of the gun batteries that once protected the city in the late 17th and 18th centuries and gave rise to the modern park name," said Robert Tierney, chairman of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. The city and the New York City Transit Authority plan to work together to preserve the remains, which were described as "an important remnant of the history of New York City."

A total of four distinct walls and over 250,000 individual artifacts were found in the excavation of the South Ferry Station and Tunnel. A portion of one wall was placed on temporary display inside Castle Clinton.

Battery Park in popular media

See also

External links

Coordinates: 40°42′13″N 74°00′58″W / 40.703717°N 74.016094°W / 40.703717; -74.016094

References

  1. ^ http://chestofbooks.com/reference/Wonder-Book-Of-Knowledge/Why-Is-It-Called-Battery-Park.html
  2. ^ http://www.archaeologydaily.com/news/201002263403/Unearthing-colonial-New-York-South-Ferry-project-yields-65K-artifacts.html

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message