|Should you go?|
|Time spent||48 minutes|
|Best thing I saw or learned||A plaque (reproduced just below) visualizes how New York’s historic harbor defenses overlapped to protect Lower Manhattan and the Hudson. With the actual harbor spread majestically before you, it’s phenomenally effective.|
I’ve seen three forts (Totten, Schuyler, Clinton) in the course of this project so far, with several more yet to come. Governors Island features a twofer, which (like the others) speak to changing military technology and adaptation to new uses.
All the extant fortifications around New York Harbor and Long Island Sound have two things in common. The military never had to use them to defend the city, and advances in military technology very quickly rendered them obsolete. Not that it was necessarily money down the drain; the mere existence of the chain of forts around the city may well have helped deter attacks from, um, pirates or Canadians? They almost certainly helped ensure New York remained unmolested by the British during the War of 1812. Continue reading “Governors Island National Monument”