July 17, 2006

Governors Island National Monument

POST #    2194

Saturday morning, Janelle organized a small group trip to Governors Island in New York Harbor. The island is so close to Manhattan, it seems like one could swim there. That would probably be deadly though as the island is at the junction on the Hudson and East River. While never used in any battles, the island was used to protect New York City from naval attack. Parts of Fort Jay (part of it seen in the 4th picture), the oldest structure on the island, were first built in 1776 and repaired and added to through the 1800s. The cannons in the fort date back to the Civil War. Castle Williams (1st picture) was built between 1807-1811 and used as harbor defense, barracks and a P.O.W. holding facility during the Civil War.

The rest of the island has a lot of living quarters that were used by the Army when they occupied the island from 1794 until 1966 and by the Coast Guard for 30 years after that. Use of the island ended in 1997, when the Coast Guard left the island and it's been in disuse ever since. Some of the more surprising things that were on the island were a YMCA, a Super 8 Motel, and a Burger King.

Who says there isn't any good real estate left in Manhattan?! There's plenty, it's just all on Governors Island. The big question is what they'll end up doing with it. There's already a pro-am golf tournament scheduled there for later this year.

Now, if they would only solve the problem off the hot dog monopoly that exists on the island. The lone food vendor sets the price of a Sabrett hot dog at a pricey $2. If only that Burger King was still in business!

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:56 AM



nice shots! i love the 3rd one. i have camera envy.

Posted by: janelle at July 17, 2006 9:05 AM

I was there on Saturday morning, too! Did you guys have a picnic on Soldiers' Row? If so, I saw you. It's not like there were too many people out there.

It's true about the real estate—that land is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and the houses look like they could be renovated. I'd love to see the fort/prison be turned into some kind of Melrose Place arrangement with a pool in the courtyard.

Posted by: Leland at July 17, 2006 6:40 PM

You are all so right - this is a no-brainer. Get Habitat or some non-profit in there, renovate, give the 421 tax abatements and make them rent-stabilized. Ferry service to Manhattan. Why on earth not??

Posted by: Patricia at July 17, 2006 7:30 PM

leland, we didn't have a picnic. must have been some other people.

Posted by: tien [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 18, 2006 8:59 PM

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