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Castle Clinton National Monument Tips (7)

Castle Clinton

Castle Clinton is located in Battery Park, next to the Ellis Island Ferry port.

It is a circular sandstone fort, which was originally built to defend New York Harbor in the War of 1812, but was never actually used for defensive purposes.

Over the years it has been used as an amphitheater, a concert hall, an immigrant landing depot, an aquarium and finally a ticket hall today!!

You enter the fort through the gate in the photo. It seems rather out of place with the rest of the Battery Park area, but worth a look.

sue_stone's Profile Photo
Sep 22, 2004

Castle Clinton

A national monument since 1950, this circular fort is an early 19th-century construction that supposedly guarded lower New York City against the British navy. Today the structure is little more than a stone curtain surrounding the kiosks for the Statue of Liberty ferry (only a circular ring recalls the original fort). Windows within the wall presumably permitted cannon barrels to encompass all points of approach from the sea. Admission is free, but weaving among the ferry lines inside will require patience, and strolling outside the wall will require some imagination.

mrclay2000's Profile Photo
Apr 20, 2005

Castle Clinton National Monument

US Army Corps of Engineers built the Castle in 1807. Originally NYC's harbor defense in the War of 1812, the Castle served as a military headquarters, immigration Center, aquarium & now a national monument. We got on the Ferry to Governors Island here.

apbeaches's Profile Photo
Oct 11, 2008

Castle Clinton

Castle Clinton sat 300 feet offshore when it was built in 1811.Castle Clinton was originally called West Battery. It was erected to defend New York against the British in anticipation of what evolved into the war of 1812.

Over the years, Castle Clinton has performed many functions: In 1826 it was turned into a theater, known as Castle Garden. Later in the 19th century, the castle becomes a receiving hall for immigrants, and some contemporary New Yorkesr remember it as the site of the New York Aquarium (unitil 1941).

All that history is covered in a small, tidy museum near the castle's east gate.

Castle Clinton presently functions as a ticket booth for the ferry to Ellis Island

kbl's Profile Photo
Mar 20, 2005
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Castle Clinton

More than a dozen forts were built to defend New York Harbor at the time of the War of 1812. The Southwest Battery was constructed on the rocks off the tip of Manhattan Island between 1808 and 1811. Although fully armed and staffed, the fort never had occasion to fire upon an enemy. In 1817, the fort was renamed Castle Clinton in honor of DeWitt Clinton, Mayor of New York City. The army vacated the fort in 1821 and the structure was deeded to New York City in 1823. In the summer of 1824, a new restaurant and entertainment center opened at the site, now called Castle Garden. A roof was added in the 1840s and Castle Garden served as an opera house and theater until 1854.
We bought our tickets here for our boattour to the statue of liberty and Ellis island.

dila's Profile Photo
Sep 27, 2004

Clinton Castle was built in...

Clinton Castle was built in 1811 to defend Manhatton from the British. Once an island but now part of lower Manhatton due to a landfill. It has been used for many things over the years, including a concert hall, a processing centre for immigrants and an aquarium. It is now where the ticket office for the Satue of Liberty Ferry tours is located.

bugalugs's Profile Photo
Sep 12, 2002

Castle Clinton in Battery Park

Castle Clinton is a round, sandstone fortress in Battery Park, and is the ticket purchase and departure point for ferries to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Islands. Originally built to be a fort for the War of 1812, it became an opera house from 1840-1855 (renamed Castle Garden), an immigration station between 1855-1890, and, after Ellis Island opened in 1892, the building was transformed into the New York City Aquarium from 1896-1941. Saved from demolition in 1946, the Castle was restored to its original design by the National Park Service, and reopened in 1975 as Castle Clinton National Monument.

Free ranger guided tours are available to the public daily at 10:00 AM, 12:00 PM, and 2:00 PM

There is a National Parks Passport stamping station inside the bookstore, to the left as you enter the fort.

TravellerMel's Profile Photo
Feb 09, 2012

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Getting to Castle Clinton National Monument


Battery Park, New York, NY


  • Sunday 08:00 to 17:00
  • Monday 08:00 to 17:00
  • Tuesday 08:00 to 17:00
  • Wednesday 08:00 to 17:00
  • Thursday 08:00 to 17:00
  • Friday 08:00 to 17:00
  • Saturday 08:00 to 17:00