Castle Clinton National Monument
Castle Clinton, NY
Castle Clinton is on Battery
Park in the southern part of Manhattan.
Designed by architects Jonathan Williams and
John McComb, Jr., it was built on a small
artificial island in 1808. Construction was
completed in 1811. At that time, the
building was called West Battery or South
In 1815, its name was
changed to Castle Clinton in honor of Mayor
Throughout its history, the sandstone fort
has served many purposes. In 1821, the US
Army stopped using the building. It was then
leased to the city. It reopened as Castle
Garden in July 3, 1824.
The structure served as a
public promenade, an exhibition hall, a beer
garden, a theater and an
Because of its evolving
functions, the open air structure had to be
Again, the building was converted in 1855.
It became the first Emigrant Landing Depot
for the New York State immigrant processing
facility. In 1890, the Federal Government
took over immigration and transferred the
facility to another site.
From 1896 to 1941, Castle Garden became the
popular New York City Aquarium. Thousands of
tourists visited the place every year. The
building was almost torn down by Park
Commissioner Robert Moses who wanted to
build a bridge from Battery to Brooklyn. The
public protested, and now Castle Clinton is
officially a national monument.