One day while we were in New York in October of 2015, we took the subway to lower downtown Manhattan and walked around Battery Park, AKA, the Battery. It is a 25-acre park named for the artillery batteries that were positioned there in the city’s early years to protect the settlement behind them. 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.
At the north end of the Battery Park is Castle Clinton, the often repurposed last remnant of the defensive works which inspired the name of the park. Originally called the West Battery, Castle Clinton was named for mayor DeWitt Clinton and was built as a fort just prior to the War of 1812. As it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966, it was restored in 1975. It is currently known by its original name and managed by the National Park Service. We spent quite a while reading the plaques and just taking in the fort. It is nothing like Fort McHenry in Baltimore but also has a great history. Definitely worth checking out when you are in the area.
The East Coast Memorial is one of three war memorials in the United States administered by the American Battle Monuments Commission; the others are the West Coast Memorial to the Missing of World War II in San Francisco and the Honolulu Memorial. The memorial commemorates U.S. servicemen who died in coastal waters of the western Atlantic Ocean during World War II. My dad was in the Navy, so I found this memorial very interesting. There are many other memorials. But these seem to draw the biggest crowds.
If you are into museums you may enjoy checking out the Museum of Jewish Heritage or the Skyscraper Museum. The Jewish Heritage Museum offers a lively mix of Jewish history and modern Jewish life facts and artifacts. The museum also has a solemn memorial to the Holocaust that aims to teach and inform people about those who perished. The Skyscraper Museum sounder really cool and highlights the illustrious history of the New York Skyscraper, the look that NYC is made of. I would really like to see the Skyscraper Museum, but we didn’t make it that trip. Looks like they have some great exhibits that highlight the amazing structures. Definitely want to see this The next time we are in the Battery Park area.
Battery Park is a very cool park to hang out and relax. From the East Coast Memorial, you can see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. We set there for a while and watch some of the ferries going back and forth. We also saw a few street performances while walking around. Less crowded than Midtown for sure. Definitely look forward to visiting again on a future trip.
A note of interest: On December 8, 2005, New York City authorities announced that builders working on the new South Ferry subway station in Battery Park had found the remains of a 200-year-old stone wall. After archaeological analysis, it was widely reported to be the oldest man-made structure still in place in Manhattan. Four walls and over 250,000 individual artifacts were found in the excavation of the South Ferry subway station. A portion of one wall was placed on temporary display inside Castle Clinton in 2009. We both found this very interesting.
We had a wonderful time walking around and exploring the park. It was fun watching the ferries come and go to the Statue of Liberty and all the people running around. It was definitely one of my favorite parts of NYC. While walking around I tried to figure out who was local and who was visitors. Guess I will never know (although some visitors were quite obvious, lol), but it was amusing to try 🙂 Anyway, below is some basic information, as well as a link to their website. Hope you can enjoy some time at the park on a future visit while in the area.
Battery Park Visitor Information
State Street and Battery Place New York, NY 10004
to Bowling Green
to Whitehall on weekdays
to South Ferry
M55, M15, M15 Select Bus Service, M20 to South Ferry
BM1, BM2, BM3, BM4, X1, X3, X4, X8, X14, X15 go to State Street and Battery Place
X10, X11, X12, X17, X19 to Battery Place
From the West Side: Take the West Side Highway / West Street south to the Battery Place exit. This is the last exit before the Battery Tunnel Underpass. See map for area parking garages.
From the East Side: Take the FDR Drive south to Exit 1 – Whitehall Street.
Immediately after the exit, a parking garage is available at 1 New York Plaza.
For information on travel to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, visit Statue Cruises.
Pedestrians can enter the park at
- Pier A Plaza, at West Street & Battery Place
- Battery Place at Greenwich Street
- State Street just east of Broadway, by the IRT headhouse (station entrance serving the #4 and #5 subway lines)
- State Street & Water Street
- South Street, by the Whitehall Terminal (serving the Staten Island Ferry)
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