Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Battery Park, Lower Manhattan, New York City

All photos click to enlarge

Battery Park is a 25-acre public park located at the Battery, the southern tip of the New York City borough of Manhattan, 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 harbor.

The Battery remains one of the oldest public open spaces in continuous use in New York City.

Near this point, the colonists of the Dutch West India Company began the settlement of New Amsterdam in 1625. As the colony grew and its commerce expanded, piers, wharves, and slips rose along the coastline. The Dutch constructed Fort Amsterdam as early as 1626, and around 1683, the first of a series of gun batteries was constructed around the shore.

In Battery Park, is a now-damaged sculpture called "The Sphere" It once stood in the center of the fountain of the World Trade Center Tobin Plaza. The Sphere was pulled from underneath the collapsed towers. It was inaugurated at a ceremony marking the six month anniversary of the attack as a temporary memorial to all those who lost their lives in the attack on the World Trade Center.
Created in 1971 by artist Fritz Koenig, The Sphere was described as "a monument fostering world peace." The 45,000-pound sculpture is 15 feet in diameter and is made of steel and bronze. It sustained a gash through its center but remains structurally intact.

Visitors to Battery Park are immersed into a fun and fantastic cityscape collage -- complete with ferry boats, souvenir vendors, fast food carts, seagulls, business workers dining al fresco on the park benches, schoolchildren or camps on outings, performance artists, and walking paths through beautiful flower beds. At night, you can stroll the promenade and take in views of New Jersey lights across the water, and breathtaking views of some of lower Manhattan's skyline, Governors Island, Staten Island, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

Have your photo taken with a Statue of Liberty!

A view of downtown Manhattan from the park.

Castle Clinton ( below) was built in anticipation of the War of 1812. A decade later it was renamed Castle Garden and was transformed into the City's premier cultural center. By 1855, successive landfills had enlarged the Park to encompass Castle Garden and the structure became America's first immigrant receiving center, welcoming 8.5 million people before it was succeeded by Ellis Island. In 1896, the Castle was transformed into the beloved New York Aquarium, one of the nation's first public aquariums.
Following its near-total demolition in 1941 and a major preservation battle, the original fort walls were declared a National Monument by an Act of Congress in 1946. Restored to its fortification appearance by the National Park Service in 1975, the Castle currently houses a small interpretive display and the ticket office for the Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island ferry.

A slideshow about Castle Clinton's history can be viewed at this link.

Battery Park contains many monuments honoring soldiers, explorers, inventors, and immigrants. I'd like to show you a few of them, and hopefully, I'll be able to display more in a future post.

The sculpture below is located at the south end of Battery Park near Castle Clinton. The piece was donated by Samuel Rudin (1896-1975) one of New York City's largest property owners, who commissioned the sculpture in the early 1970s, intending it to be installed near Castle Clinton as a memorial to his parents, who immigrated to the United States in the late-19th century. Although Rudin died in 1975, Rudin's family took up the campaign to install the sculpture at the park, and it eventually was dedicated on May 4, 1983. It is by sculptor Luis Sanguino.

On the eastern side of the plaza is a monumental bronze eagle, sculpted by Albino Manca (1898-1976) and set on a pedestal of polished black granite, grips a laurel wreath over a wave — signifying the act of mourning at the watery grave. This monument was commissioned by the American Battle Monuments Commission, a small independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government, and was dedicated by President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) on May 23, 1963.

It was restored in 1997, and was originally dedicated in 1963 to our servicemen and women who lost their lives in the Atlantic Ocean during World War II. A total of 4,067 lives were lost, and their names, rank and home state are inscribed on the eight 19-foot-high granite walls.

Along the waterfront, ferries depart for the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The terminal for The Staten Island Ferry is nearby, which you can ride for free! The 5 mile, 25 minute ride also provides view of the Statue of Liberty in the harbor, and the Manhattan skyline. It is NYC's best bargain!

A full Statue Cruises ferry (below) waiting to depart for Liberty Island.

A view of the Statue Of Liberty on a misty, foggy day from Battery Park.

Located on a 12 acre island, the "Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World," was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States and is a universal symbol of freedom and democracy.
The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886, designated as a National Monument in 1924 and restored for her centennial on July 4, 1986.

I hope you enjoyed this quick trip through Battery Park in Lower Manhattan, New York City.

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Anonymous said...

I definitely did enjoy the tour. I was fascinated by all of the monuments and their history.

I didn't know about the Sphere. How ironic its intent and survival. It is so incredibly symbolic.

Dorothy said...

Wow Pat...thank you for such an awesome tour...I love New York City...a fascinating place for sure...

Tess Kincaid said...

Pat, I always wondered why it was called Battery Park...and now I know! I always enjoy your bloggy tours of NYC. :)

Betsy Brock said...

Wonderful tour ...felt just like I was there! :)

nanatrish said...

Great tour! There is so much to see in New York. You have done a great job with this. I can almost hear the sounds in the background.:)

Tara said...

Hi Pat

What a great tour. My husband's ancestor from Holland, 14 generations ago, arrived in New Amsterdam at the ripe age of 15 around 1630...can you believe it? He was escaping the plague! I am going to keep alink to this post--we'd like to do a few vacation days in NYC this summer!


Lisa's RetroStyle said...

Gosh Pat you posts are so beautiful they make me cry! The music you have cued really adds to the drama.
I don't remember hearing about the symbolic..still intact, with a gash through it's center. How moving...and so many other beautiful works of art!

Strider said...

Thanks for the was fantastic. A few years ago I flew through the Newark NJ airport on my way to NH. To tell you the truth, I didn't really know where Newark was in relationship to NYC. I looked out the window of the terminal and thought, "wow, that is a big city over there"! Then I saw the Statue of Liberty in the harbor. It was pretty awesome....and talk about a country boy come to town.....

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Thanks for the wonderful tour of Battery Park! Some day I hope to get to NYC and see all of these lovely places in person...

Unknown said...

Hi Pat, I want to take a picture with Statue of day, that's for sure. I can't miss US no matter what. Wonderful information of Battery Park, what a fascinating place :D HUGS

Erica Hanks said...

I have never been to New York, but it's on my to do list, for sure! Thanks for the awesome tour!

Proud Italian Cook said...

That was a fun trip Pat, thanks! It brought back memories of my honey moon, many moons ago!!!Two 19 year olds, went down to the Justice of Peace in Chicago, got married and decided to go to New York on a road trip for our honeymoon, I always wanted to see the Statue of Liberty and New York.
Loved the pictures!

Judi A. said...

I have been to NYC only once and so want to return. A part of me envies you living in such a vibrant city, full of history and history in the making. Thank you for that view of the Statue of Liberty. My father entered the US through that harbor and Ellis Island and he had told us several times of the excitement of seeing the Statue of Liberty at last, after a long and difficult ocean crossing. And then the fear of being rejected for entrance to the US after all they'd been through. He just died on Mother's Day at the age of 88 and he loved America and all that being here enabled him to do. Thank you, again, for a fabulous tour of Battery Park and the wonderful tidbits of info you shared.

Unknown said...

Great pics and info! I am going to make it up there one of these days, and having read your blog will make it more meaningful to me!

Nihal said...

Pat cara,
How great and informative article of Big Apple! All is OK, but me too, I did not remember that Sphere:( I definitely need to go NYC for a re-tour.
BTW, would love to see NYC street fashion, do it, Pat. How much I missed NYC; thanks God, I know you:) Thanks Google, for this greatest blogging thing:)

Have a great lovely day like your wonderful heart.

~N at CrossRoads

Vee said...

It's always a pleasure to join you for a tour. There is such an incredible amount of history in every little nook and cranny of NYC. One could spend a lifetime studying it all and never be bored. Great photographs, Pat! I really liked the foggy harbor and the Statue of Liberty.

Just A Girl said...

Hi Pat,
What a great tour! Thanks! I thought it was sad about the sculpture at the W.T.C. that represented peace and then was damaged through an act of terrorism. The eternal flame was a nice addition.
Have a wonderful week.
:) Cori

Edie Marie's Attic said...

Hi Pat!
Great post! It's my dream to see the Statue of Liberty in person some day! I loved the tour of Battery Park. I can just imagine being on that ferry to Staten Island and getting closer and closer to her.
I was without internet connection for 2 days and am trying to catch up! Blog world moves fast when you miss just a couple days!
Hugs, Sherry

Judy said...

Thanks so much for the tour of New York...and history lesson. That's as close as I've been to NYC...but one day I hope to do the tour in person!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tour. I wondered how things had changed since I was there in 1996. My cousin was due at the Twin Towers but found he had doubled booked himself so cancelled being there. So glad the Sphere survived and hasn't been restored.

Ooo the happy memories of exploring NY on foot and taking the ferry to the statue of Liberty. It truely is a wonderful city.

Junie Moon said...

You always have the most wonderful things to share. Your concept of seeing the offerings near and around you echoes what my husband and I believe--see and do everything you can because it's all meaningful, inspiring, and an opportunity to grow.

Kathy said...

Hi Pat, This is such a great post, we nearly got to New York earlier this year but had to change our plans at the last minute due to hubbies job, we almost got to see La Traviata to (read your post re the Met and am really envious now) but NY and The Met are on our must see soon list and after reading your post I can impress hubby with all my new found knowledge, tks my friend, hugs, Kathy. ps the photos are lovely as usual and congrats to you both on your baby news!!!!. well grand baby that is!. K.

Kathy said...

Hello Pat, you know I think that you do not really see a place until you spend time away from it for a while, I have seen London with new eyes on this trip, things I took for granted/never saw while living here all those years, the UXB really made me think, like the earthquakes in SF, there is a risk, they happen but nobody seems to worry to much.
Yes (hubby allows me one performance at SF Opera per year, (I love that building) so far we have seen Madama Butterfly and Don Juan, but we saw La Traviata in Venice and it was my favourite, I really wanted to see it at the Met, we will get there soon, this year we are going to see Phantom of the Opera in San Diego instead.

My son travelled all over the USA last year and he did not want to leave New York. hugs, Kathy

Lavinia said...

Thank you for this pictorial with interesting info. One day I plan to blog about my experience on the staten island ferry, summer of 1976.....

Seeing your blog today brought all those memories back....

THere is no place on earth like New York City.!

kari and kijsa said...

So many great photos and fabulous information! Thanks for the tour!!

kari & kijsa

Twiggy said...

Wow that was a fabulous tour. I would love to visit New York one day what a wonderful city. Thanks for sharing
Twiggy x

Joanne Kennedy said...

I love your guided tours. It's almost as good as being there in person.

I would LOVE to come to NY someday and take one of your tours with you in person.


Cynthia said...

Thanks for taking us on this tour and trip with you.

vincibene said...

Thank you very much for this wonderful trip through Battery Park!

Marg said...

Great post. Visited New York about 5 years ago. There is never enough time to see it all.
It is such an exciting place.
Never a dull moment.
Of course for me the sight of Sept 11, was truly emotional. We went into the little church and I tried to just feel what the city must of felt.
What a city.

Rue said...

Another wonderful tour Pat :) I would love to visit Castle Clinton someday!

Thank you for understanding about the house issue.