Description

The Battery, formerly known as Battery Park, is a 25-acre public park located at the southern tip of Manhattan Island in New York City facing New York Harbor. It is bounded by Battery Place on the north, State Street on the east, New York Harbor to the south, and the Hudson River to the west. The park contains attractions such as an early 19th century fort named Castle Clinton; multiple monuments; and the SeaGlass Carousel. The surrounding area, known as South Ferry, contains multiple ferry terminals, including the Staten Island Ferry's Whitehall Terminal; a boat launch to the Statue of Liberty National Monument (which includes Ellis Island and Liberty Island); and a boat launch to Governors Island. The area was originally occupied by the Lenape Native Americans. Dutch settlers populated the area as part of the settlement of New Amsterdam in the early 17th century. Sited on the historic southern tip of Manhattan, The Battery takes its name form the 'battery' of cannons erected by Dutch settlers in the 1600s. What was a worn, formal Moses-era park a mere twenty years ago is now a lush destination for the seven million people who come here each year to board a ferry, visit the memorials and urban farms, stroll the Bosque Gardens and waterfront promenade, and take in the magnificent views of New York Harbor.

Constructed, 1823

By the 1820s, the Battery had become an entertainment destination, with the conversion of Castle Clinton into a theater venue. During the mid-19th century, the modern-day Battery Park was constructed and Castle Clinton was converted into an immigration and customs center. The Battery was commonly known as the landing point for immigrants to New York City until 1890, when the Castle Clinton immigration center was replaced by one on Ellis Island. Castle Clinton then hosted the New York Aquarium from 1896 to 1941.

Renovation, 1940

In 1940, the entirety of Battery Park was closed for twelve years due to the construction of the Brooklyn–Battery Tunnel and the Battery Park Underpass.

Opened, 1952

The park reopened in 1952 after a renovation, but then subsequently went into decline.

Restored, 1995

The Battery Conservancy, founded in 1994 by Warrie Price, underwrote and funded the restoration and improvement of the once-dilapidated park.

In 2015, the Conservancy renamed the park to its historic name of "the Battery".

Renovation, 2016

Quennell Rothschild & Partners worked closely with NYC Parks and the Battery Park Conservancy on this $17M, 12-acre redesign which includes an expansive new gathering space, a pastoral bikeway, a monument walk, and streamlines circulation. Battery Green: Two acres of Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue, shaded by 38 stately trees, carpet the sweeping new Battery Green oval, a gathering space for up to 9,000 concert-goers. Battery Bikeway: The new curvilinear bikeway, flanked by colorful perennials and shrubs, provides the critical link between the Hudson River Park and East River bikeways, as well as safe access through the park. Monument Walk: Previously scattered around the park, ten of the 23 monuments in the park have been restored and moved to the perimeter, where they provide focal points at all the major streets leading in. Planting: The longevity of the park's 250 mature trees has been assured through new paving that preserves their root systems. Unnecessary paths have been removed, making way for more lawn and woodland where the old trees can happily spread above and below ground. Circulation: Former conflicts between pedestrians, bikes, trucks and buses have been resolved. View-framing plantings enhance the main entrances, while new entrances connect The Battery with Pier A to the west and Peter Minuit Plaza to the east. To reinforce its role as the city's first line of defense against hurricanes, the park has also become more pervious. By replacing mown lawn with swaths of native grasses and reducing paving, Quennell Rothschild and Partners have prevented any additional stormwater from being generated. The Battery has finally been restored to a beautiful, sustainable twenty-first century public space worthy of its cultural, archaeological, and historic significance.


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