In May 1998, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan secured $6 million towards the Castle’s reconstruction from TEA–21, federal transportation legislation. In February 2000, The Conservancy competed and received a $2 million allocation through New York State Transportation Enhancement Program.
Including private gifts, a total of $8.6 million has been raised. With this funding in place, the Conservancy, with its public partners (National Park Service, NYC Parks & Recreation, the NYC Economic Development Corporation, and the Alliance for Downtown New York) held an international architectural competition in 1999. They selected the architectural team of Thomas Phifer & Partners create a concept for a revitalized Castle. The conceptual design embodies the Castle’s dynamic past uses while fulfilling its mission as a 21st century building. When 50% of the construction funds have been secured the extraordinary Castle design will be presented to the public.
The rebuilt Castle will have three functions: a transportation hub for the growing heritage tourism and recreational use of New York Harbor; a venue for performing arts, reviving the spirit of Castle Garden (1824–1855); and a new interpretive center that will focus on the myriad of layers of history of this remarkable site.