- Battery Park
Battery Park is a 25-acre (10 hectare) public park located at the Battery, the southern tip of the
New York Cityborough of Manhattan, facing New York Harbor. The Battery is named for the artillery batterythat was stationed there at various times by the Dutch and British in order to protect the harbor. At the north end of the park is Pier A, formerly a fireboat station and Hope Garden, a memorial to AIDSvictims. At the other end is Battery Gardens restaurant, next to the United States Coast Guard Battery Building. Along the waterfront, ferries depart for the Statue of Libertyand Ellis Island. There is also a stop on the New York Water Taxiroute between the Statue of Liberty Ferry and Pier A.
To the northwest of the park lies
Battery Park City, a planned community built on landfill in the 1970s and 80s, which includes Robert F. Wagner Park and the Battery Park City Promenade. Together with Hudson River Park, a system of greenspaces, bikeways and promenades now extend up the Hudson shoreline. A bikeway is being built through the park that will connect the Hudson River and East River parts of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway. Across State Street to the northeast stands the old U.S. Customs House, now used as a branch of the National Museum of the American Indianand the district U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Peter Minuit Plaza abuts the southeast end of the park, directly in front of the South Ferry Terminal of the Staten Island Ferry.
The southern shoreline of
Manhattan Islandhad long been known as the Battery, and was a popular promenadesince at least the 17th century. The Battery was the center of Evacuation Day celebrations commemorating the departure of the last British troops in the United States after the American Revolutionary War. The relatively modern parkwas created by landfill during the 19th century, resulting in a landscaped open space at the foot of the heavily developed mainland of downtown. Skyscrapers now occupy most of the original land, stopping abruptly where the park begins. On State Street, the former harbor front and the northern boundary of the park, a single Federal mansion survives ("illustration, right") as the Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. Until the 1820s, the city's stylish residential district lay north of this house, between Broadway and the " North River" (now known as the "Hudson River").
Within the park lies
Castle Clinton, an American fort built on a small artificial off-shore islandimmediately prior to the War of 1812and named for mayor DeWitt Clinton. When the land of Battery Park was created, it enclosed the island.
The fort became property of the city after the war and was renamed
Castle Garden. Leased by the city it became a popular promenadeand beer garden. Later roofed-over, it became one of the premier theatrical venues in the United States and contributed greatly to the development of New York City as the theater capital of the nation. The migration of the city's elite uptown increased concurrently with the mass European emigration of the middle 19th century. As immigrantssettled the Battery area, the location was less favorable to theater patrons and Castle Garden was closed. The structure was then made into the world's first immigration depot, processing millions of immigrants beginning in 1855 - almost 40 years before its successor, Ellis Island, opened its doors. This period coincided with immigration waves resulting from the Great Hungerin Ireland(a.k.a., "The Irish Potato Famine") and other pivotal European events. The structure then housed the New York Aquariumuntil the 1940s, when it was threatened with destruction. It is currently a National Monument known again by its original name, and managed by the National Park Service. In addition to a small history exhibit, the fort is the site where ferry tickets are sold to visit Liberty and Ellis islands.
The Battery is featured in the famous
show tunefrom the musical "On the Town", "New York, New York," which includes the line ". . . and the Battery's down" for its southerly location. It is also mentioned in John Mayer's song "City Love," which includes the lyric "From the Battery to the Gallery" in reference to the entirety of Manhattan Islandas well as the lyric "...from the Battery to the top of Manhattan" in The Beastie Boys anthem "Open Letter to NYC".
Five months after being damaged but not destroyed in the
September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Fritz Koenig's The Sphere, which once stood at the center of the plaza of the World Trade Centera few blocks away, was reinstalled in a temporary location along Eisenhower Mall in the northern section of the park. There, along with an eternal flame, it serves to memorialize the victims of 9/11.
Under Battery Park
Battery Park, due to its key location, has played an important role in the construction of transportation infrastructure. Under the park, there is the following active infrastructure:
Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, carrying vehicular traffic to Brooklyn
Battery Park Underpass, carrying vehicular traffic from West Streetto the FDR Drive
IRT Broadway-Seventh Avenue Lineand IRT Lexington Avenue Linewith a balloon loopto enable trains to turn around and switch between the two IRT lines
* South Ferry subway station.
The discovered wall
December 8, 2005, New York City authorities announced that builders working on a new South Ferry subway station in Battery Park had found the remains of a 200-year-old stone wall. [http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051208/us_nm/life_newyork_archaeology_dc]
"This wall most likely is a portion of the gun batteries that once protected the city in the late 17th and 18th centuries and gave rise to the modern park name," said
Robert Tierney, chairman of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. The city and the New York City Transit Authorityplan to work together to preserve the remains, which were described as "an important remnant of the history of New York City."
A total of four distinct walls and over 250,000 individual artifacts were found in the excavation of the South Ferry station and tunnel. A portion of one wall was placed on temporary display inside Castle Clinton.
Battery Park in popular media
* Battery Park is a recurring location in the computer game "
* Battery Park appears in a scene at the end of the 1985
Jackie Chanfilm "The Protector".
* In the film "
Desperately Seeking Susan" (1985), Battery Park is the location of a key scene.
* In the comic book series "
The Spectacular Spider-Man", Battery Park is the scene of the climax of a storyline involving Robbie Robertson.
* In the DC comic book series
Justice Society of America, the Society's headquarters is in Battery Park.
* Battery Park conceals the underground World Headquarters of the "Men in Black" (1997) and "
Men in Black II" (2002).
* Mentioned in the Leonard Bernstein song "New York, New York" from the film "On the Town" starring
Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatraand Jules Munshin-- "New York, New York, a hell of a town/The Bronx is up, and the Battery's down/The people ride in a hole in the ground."
* Mentioned in the
Beastie Boyssong "An Open Letter to NYC" from the album "To the 5 Boroughs" (2004) -- "Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten/From the Battery to the top of Manhattan/Asian, Middle-Eastern and Latin/Black, White, New York you make it happen."
* Mentioned in the
Billy Joelsong " Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out On Broadway)" -- "The boats were waiting at the Battery./The union went on strike./They never sailed at all."
* Mentioned in the Onyx song "The Worst" from the album "Shut 'Em Down" (1998) -- "Scatter your parts/ From here to Battery Park."
* In the "
Seinfeld" episode " The Bookstore", Kramer and Newman find their stolen rickshawin Battery Park.
* In the
John Mayersong " City Love", he references "the Battery"
David Bowiesong " New Killer Star", in reference to post 9/11, says "See the great white scar, over Battery Park".
* In "
The Simpsons," Mr. Burns, unfamiliar with the rate of inflation, states, "Don't poo-poo a nickel Lisa, a nickel can buy you . . . with enough change left over to ride the trolley from Battery Park to the Polo Grounds".
* The first 'wolfen' attack in the 1981 film "Wolfen", starring
Albert Finneyand Gregory Hines, takes place in Battery Park.
* In "
Raising Helen" the final scene was filmed in Battery Parknear the ferry to the Statue of Liberty.
The WacknessLuke talks about losing his virginity in Battery Park.
* The Have A Chance Walk To Fight Brain Tumors takes place in Battery Park annually
* [http://www.thebattery.org/ The Battery Conservancy]
* [http://nysparks.state.ny.us/heritage/herit_area.asp New York State Heritage Areas]
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