Governor's Island National Monument New York


Governor's Island is located only a few hundred yards away from the Southern tip of Manhattan in New York, New York. The island covers 172 acres of land and sees more than 100,000 people who visit the monument on a yearly basis. Governor's Island is one of the latest monuments to be established and was designated in 2001. Later, in 2003, Governor's Island was sold and transferred to the Secretary of Interior and the Governor's Island Preservation and Education Corporation. The Governor's Island Preservation and Education Corporation which is commonly referred to as GIPEC was formed by the state of New York to manage and preserve the historical integrity of the land that once served as a military base. Visitors now frequent the island for its history. The history of Governor's Island spans for more than two centuries. The intricate tapestry that forms the social, economic, and political being of New York City was constructed on the island. Today, the island has much to offer the local residents and tourists of New York. Governor's Island is most known for the stunning views of the New York Skyline, the Statue of Liberty, the New York Harbor and Ellis Island. In order to arrive to the island visitors are required to take a ferry that departs from the Battery Maritime Building.

Governor's Island is home to two main fortifications that were used as early outposts to protect the city of New York from naval attacks and serve a large coastal defense. The name of the island's fortification are Fort Jay and Castle Williams. The Fort Jay fortification is a star shaped building that is one of the best preserved forts in the nation. Fort Jay was constructed in 1806 and dominates much of the island. The Castle Williams fort was constructed a year after Fort Jay in 1807, and is an enormous tri-level masonry fort. The walls of the Castle Williams were eight feet creating an impenetrable layer against coastal attacks. The interior of Castle Williams has been remodeled over the years. The two structures played a prominent role in the American Civil War and the Renaissance. It was the commanding headquarters for the military post for the United States Army for more than two hundred years. The United States Coast Guard's most complex and largest base was located on Governor's Island. Visitors to the monument have the chance to explore former military posts that were used during the Revolutionary War.

Many of the visitors who are drawn to Governor's Island are nature lovers. The island is full of indigenous birds and is an excellent place for bird watching. Some of the birds that are spotted on the island include the red-tail haw, kestrel, kildeer, and barn owls. The monument is located in a unique park-like setting that blends nature and history together.

In 2008, the officials that operated Governor's Island decided to close the monument with a poised reopening for the spring of 2009. The island is only open seasonally and beverage and food concession stands are limited. For the future, the National Park Service and GIPEC which manages the island plans to create a place of educational and cultural opportunity by creating sites for future education, commercial, and non-profit facilities.

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