Historic Timeline of The Battery

1623
Dutch settlers land and established New Amsterdam.1626

Fort Amsterdam built by the Dutch at the tip of Manhattan Island.

1626–1664

Fort Amsterdam becomes the administrative center of New Netherland.

1664

September 8 — Fort Amsterdam surrendered to the British and renamed Fort James.

1673

Fort James captured by the Dutch; briefly held as Fort Willem Hendrick.

1674–1776

Fort James, renamed successively Fort William, Fort Anne and Fort George, serves as the administrative center of the Province of New York.

1683–1688

Governor Dongan mounts a cannon on the beach below Fort James – the original “Battery”.

1689

Captain Jacob Leisler seizes Fort James in the name of King William and builds a “Halfe Moone” battery on rocks west of the fort.

1691

Leisler surrenders fort after brief siege.

1693

Governor Fletcher builds a new battery under the fort wall.

1734

Shoreline near the fort is reserved for military purposes.

1735

A new battery is built on the Capske rocks south of the fort.

1756

Fortifications with 92 guns in position below Fort George. November 3 — Guns on the Battery spiked during the Stamp Act riots.

1776

Fort George and the Battery occupied by American forces.

1776

July 12 — The Battery engages British frigates.

1776

September 2–14 The Battery engages guns on Governor’s Island.

1776–1783

Fort George and the Battery occupied by British forces.

1783

November 25 — British colors at Fort George hauled down, marking the end of Imperial rule. Later celebrated as Evacuation Day.

1790

Fort George demolished and the Battery is extended as a public promenade.

1798

Temporary fortifications erected on the Battery.

1807

Permanent fortifications for New York planned, including a “castle” on Manhattan Island.

1807

The City and State of New York cede lands at the Battery for fortifications.

1808

Foundations laid for the new fort on an artificial island off shore of the Battery.

1811

November 25 — West Battery, just completed, fires Evacuation Day salute.

1812–1815

West Battery continuously garrisoned during the War of 1812.

1815

May 30 — West Battery, renamed Castle Clinton, becomes headquarters for the Third Military District. Military headquarters removed to Governors Island.

1823

Castle Clinton ceded to the City of New York.

1824

Remodeled as Castle Garden, the structure becomes a public entertainment center.

1824

September 14 — The Marquis de Lafayette, on farewell tour, received at Castle Garden.

1842

October 18 — First public demonstration of the telegraph.

1850

September 11 — Opera singer Jenny Lind gives her first concert in America.

1851

December 5 — The Hungarian patriot, Louis Kossuth, received.

1855

Extension of the Battery joins Castle Garden to Manhattan Island.

1855

Castle Garden leased to New York State Commissioners of Emigration.

1855–1890

More than 8,000,000 future Americans pass through Castle Garden.

1876

Castle Garden gutted by fire; immediately it is rebuilt.

1890

April 18 — Immigrants land for the last time at Castle Garden.

1896

Castle Garden is remodeled to become the New York Aquarium.

1941

Aquarium dismantled to make way for Robert Moses’ never–built “Brooklyn to Battery Bridge” provoking a major preservation battle.

1946

August 12 — Congress authorizes establishment of Castle Clinton National Monument, saving the historic walls. Castle Clinton dedicated as a National Monument and turned over to National Park Service.

1986

Ticketing for the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island moved to Castle Clinton, which is restored to its fortification appearance.

1995

The Battery Conservancy begins operations to rebuild and revitalize the park and Castle Clinton National Monument with its government partners NYC Parks & Recreation, New York State Parks, and the National Parks Service.

1997

Music at Castle Clinton series returns regularly scheduled musical performances to the Castle for the first time since Castle Garden’s last performance in 1854.

1998

The renovated harbor promenade is open to the public.

2001

Rebuilt upper promenade with Gardens of Remembrance open, signaling the beginning of The Battery’s horticultural era.

2002

Construction of The Battery Labyrinth is completed.

2004

First Lady Laura Bush visits The Battery to unveil the bronze plaques to commemorate the Gardens of Remembrance.

2005

Battery Bosque Gardens open June 2nd.

2005

150th Anniversary of Castle Garden. Launch of CastleGarden.org website on August 1st.

2006

First Annual Battery Plant Sale

2007

First Annual Battery Luncheon

2011

May 12, 2011 Celebration of The Opening of Peter Minuit Plaza

Opening of The New Amsterdam Plein Pavilion

June 7, 2011 The Battery Celebrated its sweet sixteen Benefit and the success of  new The Urban Farm