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Fort Wadsworth

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19th century harbor fortifications

Place Details

Borough : Staten Island
Open Space, Historic Site & Museum

Place Matters Profile

The forts at either end of the soaring Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge are among the oldest military installations in the country, guardians of New York Harbor for more than 150 years. Fort Hamilton, on the Brooklyn side, is still an active army base. On Staten Island, Fort Wadsworth is a massive polygonal fortification occupying 226 acres on a grassy hillside overlooking the Upper and Lower New York bays.

This location was first fortified by the British in 1779 and later taken over by the American military. The granite and brick buildings that survive today were built between the years of 1859 and 1876. Because of its strategic location, Fort Wadsworth remained important through the 19th and 20th centuries, updated as military technology evolved. During the Cold War, it served as the control center for New York City's Nike missile defense system.

Even though parts of the fort remained in continuous service, the...

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Nominations

Nancy Avrin

This is a National Park Service area that preserves NY harbor fortifications from the early 1800s. The NPS site was established by an act of Congress in 1972. Its sweeping views of NY harbor & Narrows, and its historic buildings & fortifications are unique. (March 2007)


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