Fort Wadsworth, part of Gateway National Recreation Area, Staten Island, New York.

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The view of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge from just inside Fort Tompkins.

Fort Wadsworth, a military base that was active for 200 hundred years (1783 – 1994) is now part of the National Park Service’s Gateway National Recreation Area. Its 226 acres include the old remains of the Forts themselves as well as park areas, beach, wooded areas, wildlife, and modern housing. The Verrazano Narrows Bridge, which spans the Narrows, extends over the Fort and seems almost within touching distance.

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The roadway outside Fort Tompkins gives the view of the bridge as well as the stone exterior of the Fort.

Fort Wadsworth was first fortified by the British in 1779 and was its first line of defense until the end of the Revolutionary war in 1783.  The U.S. military has made active use of the Fort throughout history, its primary function was  to guard The Narrows against ships slipping into New York Harbor from the Atlantic Ocean. After World War I, the Fort became an infantry post. During World War II, Coast Artillery soldiers manned seacoast defenses.  It was decommissioned in 1994, and since then the United States Coast Guard has utilized its more modern buildings on site as housing.

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Inside Fort Tompkins, we can see the slitted windows where soldiers on guard poked out their guns.

 

The original Fort still stands, although Battery Weed and Fort Tompkins are the only buildings where interior tours of the concrete and stone artillery batteries can be arranged.  The old slitted gunnery windows overlooking the Narrows, and the labyrinth of tunnels, artillery, and powder rooms give a bleak, somber perspective of the lives of soldiers guarding New York Harbor.

 

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Battery Weed, part of Gateway National Recreation Area, sits just below the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge on Staten Island, New York.

 

 

I Love St. George, Staten Island.

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The NYC skyline from St. George, Staten Island.

I Love St. George, Staten Island!

St.George is a waterfront town steeped in Staten Island’s history.  It plays a prominent role in New York Harbor’s maritime industry and was the site of a British fort during the Revolutionary War. It is the Island’s seat of government and its architectural and cultural hub.

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Borough Hall is Staten Islands seat of Government and is located across the street from the waterfront St. George Ferry Terminal.

Borough_Hall_Staten_Island_MuralsBorough Hall, a French Renaissance brick building directly across the street from the waterfront St. George Ferry Terminal, became the seat of Staten Island government in 1898.  Inside the marble lobby are a series of hand painted murals depicting Staten Island historical events.

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The New York State Supreme Courthouse is a gleaming glass and copper structure a few steps up the hill from Borough Hall, Staten Island.

Clustered in close proximity to Borough Hall is the gleaming glass and copper New York State Supreme Courthouse and the Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George. 

The Ballpark at St. George is home to the Staten Island Yankees.  The sails at its entrance are inspired by the Staten Island Ferry and the St. George Ferry Terminal, less than a 5 minute walk.

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The sails at the entrance of Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George are inspired by the Staten Island Ferry.

These attractions and many more are waiting to be seen, less than a five minute walk from the Staten Island Ferry in St. George, Staten Island.

The Grottos of Mount Carmel Shrine

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Magical.

On a secluded street in the old town of Rosebank, the stone grottos of Our Lady of Mount Carmel sit in the yard of the Society of Mount Carmel lodge. It was designed and built by Italian-American lodge members, who were stone masons and laborers. Built as a memorial to a deceased child, the men used the only materials they had: concrete, stones, and metal. They inlaid their creation with seashells, marbles, and bits of glass picked up from streets. Could these artisans have imagined that their stone creation would one day be landmarked?

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Not to be missed, the grottos are a spectacular piece of Staten Island folklorica; a peaceful space where “All Are Welcome.”