Castle Clinton

Battery Park, John McComb Jr. (1807-11)
Fort Clinton was originally built on an island about 200 feet from the shoreline. In fact, much of lower Manhattan's shoreline was extended by Dutch settlers who were experienced in land reclamation. Creating new real estate by means of landfill is still popular today (for example, Battery Park City). Built as the West Battery to complement the East Battery on Governor's Island, this fort was intended to protect New York's harbor from anticipated British attack during the War of 1812. Its eight-foot thick brownstone (cheap red sandstone) walls never saw combat, and the building was reincarnated as a popular entertainment center called Castle Garden (1824), an immigration depot (1850-1890) and the New York Aquarium (1896-1941) before it was restored as a national monument in the 1970s.
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