Camp Carrigan |
Davids Island Res. |
Eighth Reg. Armory |
Fort Hamilton (2)
Fort Hudson | Kingsbridge Armory | Miller Field | Fort Morton | Fort Newton
Norton Point Res. | Princess Bay Battery (2) | Fort Richmond (2) | Camp Rockaway Beach
Fort Schuyler (5) | Seventh Reg. Armory | Camp Slayton | Fort Slocum | Fort Tilden
Fort Tompkins (1) | Fort Totten | Fort Wadsworth | Camp Walworth | Ward Point Battery
Fort at Willet's Point
New York City's Cold War AAA Defenses
Northeastern NY - page 1 | Mohawk River Valley - page 2 | Hudson River Valley - page 3
Catskill Region - page 4 | New York City I - page 5 | New York City II - page 6
Long Island - page 8 | Western New York - page 9 | Northwestern New York - page 10
NEW YORK'S FORTS AND MILITARY HISTORY
NOTE: This page covers only those forts built and/or primarily active during the Endicott and the two World Wars periods (1885 - 1950). Please see NEW YORK CITY I and NEW YORK CITY II pages for earlier period forts.
¤ COAST DEFENSES of
NEW YORK CITY (EAST RIVER)
Harbor Defense of Eastern New York - FORT WIKI
¤ Fort Slocum
(1862 - 1865, 1878 - 1928/1965), Davids Island, New Rochelle
Located offshore from New Rochelle. Originally built as a military hospital complex (De Camp General Hospital). Nearby Hart Island (Bronx) was also used as a POW camp and hospital. Camp Carrigan was briefly here on Davids Island in late 1861. Known as Davids Island Military Reservation from 1866 to 1896 until formally named. First fortified in 1878. Endicott batteries here were Battery Haskin (1897 - 1919), Battery Overton (1897 - 1919) partially destroyed, Battery Practice (1896 - 1899) (two M1888 8-inch BL guns on modified 15-inch Rodman carriages) buried, Battery Kinney (1904 - 1917) destroyed, and Battery Fraser (1901 - 1917) destroyed. Became Slocum Air Force Station from 1946 - 1950, and a NIKE missile control site (NY-15 C) from 1955 - 1960 (missile launchers were on Hart Island (NY-15 L)). A four-gun 120mm AA battery was located here 1952 - 1954, and a four-gun 90mm AA battery was here 1955 - 1957. Also located on post were the Armed Forces Information School, an Army Chaplain School, and a training and recruitment center (1919 - 1946). Closed in 1965, the island was bought by the city in 1968 for a proposed nuclear power plant, but it was never built. The island now sits abandoned and overgrown as city property, but future plans call for redevelopment. A 15-inch Rodman cannon still lies by the wharf. Nearby Hart Island is now a Bronx city cemetery and private development.
Between 2004 - 2008 all remaining above-ground structures were demolished with the exception of Batteries Haskin, Overton, and the Civil War Rodman gun display. No public access currently allowed. See also Fort Slocum Alumni and Friends by Michael Cavanaugh
¤ Fort Schuyler (5)
(SUNY Maritime College)
(1833 - 1935), Bronx
Located on the grounds of SUNY Maritime College at Throgs Neck (1937). It is now also home to the Maritime Industry Museum. The fort was first armed in 1845, but was not garrisoned until 1856. Construction continued during the 1860's into the 1870's. A small Advanced Redoubt was located northwest of the fort. Modifications to the barbette gun tier and outer crownwork were done in 1866-76. A mine casemate was built in 1875 in the southwest corner of the fort, reused for the Endicott period. It still exists. The Ten-Gun Battery was built to the northwest in 1873-76, but was not fully completed. Endicott batteries here were Battery Gansevoort (1899 - 1935) partially destroyed and buried, Battery Hazzard (1898 - 1930) destroyed, Battery Bell (1900 - 1917) destroyed, and Battery Beecher (1900 - 1920) destroyed. The BC station for Battery Hazzard was built on the parados of the Ten-Gun Battery. During the mid 1930's the old fort was renovated to become the maritime college, removing the outer crownwork and barbette tier batteries. All exterior batteries were later destroyed in the 1950's.
¤ Fort Totten
(Fort Totten Park Historic Marker)
(1862 - 1948/1994), Queens
Located across the East River from Fort Schuyler, guarding New York City's "backdoor". It was originally known as Fort at Willet's Point until 1898. The one-story wood-frame Officers' Club was built in 1870, enlarged in 1887. The uncompleted Third System casemates (aka Water Battery) still exist near the water line. A mine casemate was built in 1876. It still exists, but is inaccessible. It was replaced in the 1890's with a new mine casemate on the western-side of the post, which also still exists. Portions of the 1871-76 27-Gun Battery line also still exist among the later-built Batteries Stuart and Burnes. The 16-gun Mortar Battery was built in 1872-76, later modified and renamed Battery King. Four 13-inch seacoast mortars had been mounted in 1876. Endicott batteries here are Battery King (1900 - 1935) destroyed/buried, Battery Mahan (1900 - 1918), Battery Graham (1897 - 1918), Battery Sumner (1899 - 1918), Battery Stuart (1899 - 1917), Battery Baker (1900 - 1940's), and Battery Burnes (1904 - 1946). A 270-foot long tunnel was built in 1871 from the bluff batteries to the water battery, still exists. An underground Grand Magazine was built behind the water battery in 1871, also still exists. The Army's School of Submarine Mine Defense was originally located here until 1907. During WWII the post was the Anti-Aircraft Defense headquarters of the Eastern Defense Command. From 1950 to 1964, this was the HQ 1st Region for the anti-aircraft gun defense (ARAACOM) and NIKE missile defense (ARADCOM) of New York and New England. Anti-aircraft gun battery headquarters and NIKE missile battery headquarters were located here (NY-19) (no missiles). Until the post closed, from 1968 it was the largest Army Reserve Command in the U.S. The Army Reserve Command remains, although greatly reduced in size. The Coast Guard has relocated to Kings Point. The New York City Fire Department controls one third of the property as a training center and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation manages the final third of the property as a public waterfront park. The 1870 Officers' Club is now the home of the Bayside Historical Society.
A combined fire-control/observation station for the two mortar batteries Gansevoort and King was once located at Prospect Point in the town of Sands Point on Manhasset Neck, Nassau County.
(1912 - 1996), Bronx
Located at 29 West Kingsbridge Road. Originally known as the Eighth Coastal Artillery Armory, later the Eighth Regiment Armory. At the time it was built it boasted the world's largest Drill Hall at 300-by-600 feet. Designated a New York City Historic Landmark.
Seventh Regiment Armory
(1877 - present), Manhattan
Located at 643 Park Ave., near East 66th Street. The prototype "medievel fortress" style national guard armory that was copied around the country in the late 19th-century and early 20th-century. Still in use today. Designated a New York City Historic Landmark.
A rest house, canteen, and shelter (aka hostel) for soldiers and sailors, established by the Womens' National War Relief Association, located at the Salvation Army School for Cadets at 316 East 15th Street. Operated from September to November 1898.
¤¤ COAST and HARBOR DEFENSES of
NEW YORK CITY (NEW YORK HARBOR) (see also Sandy Hook, NJ)
Harbor Defense of Southern New York - FORT WIKI
¤¤ Fort Tilden
(Gateway National Recreation Area)
(1917 - 1948/1974), Queens
Located in Roxbury on Rockaway Peninsula. Originally named Camp Rockaway Beach in 1917. Batteries here are Battery Harris (1924 - 1948), Battery West (1917 - 1947) (renamed Kessler in 1939, rebuilt in 1941), Battery 220 (1942 - 1946) partially buried, Battery East (1917 - 1942) (renamed Fergusson in 1939) buried. Located offpost nearby on Rockaway Point was AMTB Battery 20 (1942 - 1946), and AMTB Battery 21 (1943 - 1946). Located at the former Rockaway NAS (1917 - 1930) (now Jacob Riis Park) was an unnamed mortar battery (1917 - 1919). Battery 117 was to be built on a point of land at nearby JFK Airport, but it was considered to be too close to the airport. That site is now under a taxiway. Additional WWII fire-control towers were once located eastward at Seaside, Arverne, Atlantic Beach, Long Beach, Short Beach, and Zach's Bay. None remain.
From 1955 - 1974 the post was a NIKE missile control and launch site (NY-49). Two four-gun 120mm AA batteries were located here in 1952 - 1955 (NY-43). A four-gun 90mm AA battery was also located here in 1951 - 1952.
See also The History of Fort Tilden (former Geocities site) from Web Archive.org (mostly intact, some photos missing)
¤¤ Norton Point Military Reservation
(1942 - 1946), Seagate, Coney Island, Brooklyn
Located here were New Battery Catlin (AMTB 18) (1942 - 1946) buried, and AMTB Battery 19 (1943 - 1946) mounts remain exposed in surf, located along Atlantic Ave. between Beach 40th and Beach 42nd Streets. Other WWII military support structures that were once here no longer exist. Seagate is a private gated community, public access is restricted.
¤¤ Fort Hamilton (2) (U.S. Army Reservation)
(Harbor Defense Museum)
(1826 - 1948/present), Brooklyn
Completed and first garrisoned in 1832. Fort Hamilton was primarily used as a POW facility during the Civil War, for both political and military prisoners. The last political prisoner was released in March 1866. Most of the fort's guns were removed after the war and replaced with heavier guns in the new outer batteries, except for five guns still mounted on the channel front. An exterior battery (New Battery) (18 guns) was built in 1863, rebuilt in 1874-76. The eight-gun Water Battery (aka Barbette Battery No. 1) was built in 1871-74. A 13-gun Mortar Battery was built behind the New Battery in 1872-76, but was never finished (only four 13-inch seacoast mortars were mounted). The New Battery was later replaced by Batteries Gillmore and Spear. Battery Griffin was later built on the Water Battery. A small two-tiered casemated Advanced Redoubt (16 guns) was located east of the main fort. It was disarmed after the Civil War and used as the post bakery. Endicott batteries here were Battery Piper (1901 - 1942), Battery Brown (1902 - ?), Battery Doubleday (1900 - 1943), Battery Neary (1900 - 1937), the combined Battery Gillmore (1899 - 1942) and Battery Spear (1898 - 1917), Battery Burke (1903 - 1917), Battery Livingston (1905 - 1948), Battery Johnston (1902 - 1943), Battery Mendenhall (1905 - 1917), Battery Griffin (1899 - 1946), and a WWII AA battery. The post was used as headquarters (after March 1943) of the 113th Infantry Regiment, a coastal defense shore patrol combat infantry regiment for the New York Sector of the Eastern Defense Command. A four-gun 120mm AA battery was located on post in 1952 - 1954. All coastal batteries and fire-control stations were destroyed or buried from 1954 - 1963 to make way for the Verrazano Narrows Bridge (I-278) and the Belt Parkway. The original brick fort was altered in 1937 as the present Officers' Club, Whiting Quadrangle. A 20-inch Rodman is located outside of the north gate, and a 12-inch naval gun is inside the gate.
A Patriot work known as The Narrows Fort was originally here on Denyse Point. The British captured and destroyed the fort in 1776, but rebuilt it and held it throughout the war. American Fort Lewis (2) was built here in 1814.
¤¤ Fort Wadsworth
(Gateway National Recreation Area)
(1808 - 1946/1994), Staten Island
This site, known as Signal Hill, was fortified as early as 1636 by the Dutch, who built the 20-foot square Signal Hill Blockhouse here after several nearby settlements were destroyed by Indians. The British took over in 1664. A more or less permanent signal station was located here after 1711, but there were no fortifications built here until the American Revolution. A Patriot garrison, Flagstaff Fort, was here in 1776 before being overrun by the British. The British built Fort Stag Stake here in 1779, as well as adding several supporting outer redoubts and shore batteries before the end of the war.
The first Fort Tompkins (1a) was built by the State of New York beginning in 1809 (on the then still extant ruins of the former British fort and one or two of its redoubts), mostly completed in 1815 but never armed during the war. It was a pentagonal red sandstone fort with five round tower bastions at each corner, the largest bastion (east) containing a powder magazine. Although uncompleted during the War of 1812, it did provide a suitable strong redoubt to cover the lower batteries from a landward advance. It was demolished in 1856 and replaced by the second Fort Tompkins (1b) which was begun by the Federal government in 1859 but not essentially completed until 1876. The first Fort Richmond (2a) was built by the State of New York beginning in 1808, originally designed as the Water Battery for Fort Tompkins (1a). It was a crescent-shaped red sandstone fort with one tier of casemates completed by 1812 for 27 guns. A second tier of casemates was planned, but was never built due to the onset of the war. The first tier remained covered with a wooden plank roof covered with slate, similar to what was done at Castle Clinton and North Battery (Hubert Street) in Manhattan. It was demolished in 1847 and replaced by the second Fort Richmond (2b) which was begun by the Federal government in 1847 and essentially completed by 1861, but not as yet armed. Fort Hudson was built by the State of New York beginning in 1810, completed in 1811, located on the shoreline south of Fort Richmond. It was composed of two linear tiers of earthen barbette batteries faced with stone; the lower tier 68 feet above the high water line, about 670 feet long for 47 guns, and the upper tier to the rear, about 480 feet long for 32 guns. Fort Morton was built by the State of New York in 1810, completed in 1811, located to the rear of Fort Hudson and 41 feet further up the slope, 173 feet long, slightly curved, for 12 guns. Forts Hudson and Morton were redesignated as "batteries" sometime after the war. They were rebuilt in 1840-41, with Battery Hudson being extended to the west for 13 additional guns. After additional work in 1856, Battery Hudson had 50 guns, and Battery Morton had nine guns reported.
Fort Richmond (2b) was renamed Fort Wadsworth (a) in 1865, and renamed again in 1902 as Battery Weed, after the entire reservation at Signal Hill became known as Fort Wadsworth (b). Flanking Fort Richmond were built North Cliff Battery (1862) (21 guns) and South Cliff Battery (1858) (31 guns), both rebuilt in 1872-76 for 12 and 22 15-inch Rodmans respectively. Adjacent to Fort Tompkins (1b) were built Glacis Gun Battery (five platforms, never armed) (1872-73) (still exists) and Two Gun Battery (1865-66) (never armed). The Glacis Mortar Battery (ten guns) was built just west of Fort Tompkins in 1872-73, on the site of the old Battery Morton, but was never armed. A mine casemate was built in the northwest bastion of Fort Richmond in 1875, later reused for the Endicott period. It still exists. The old Battery Hudson (including the west extension) was extensively rebuilt again in 1872-76 for 22 15-inch Rodman guns, including a position for an experimental King's Depressing Carriage. The old Battery Hudson was mostly replaced with New Battery Hudson and Battery Mills after 1898, but many of the old gun platforms and magazines still exist. In 1898 two of its emplacements were armed with M1888 8-inch BL guns on modified 15-inch Rodman carriages. The South Mortar Battery (1872) (10 guns) was built immediately to the rear of the Battery Hudson west extension, but was suspended for lack of funds in 1875 after only eight platforms were completed (never armed). Battery Catlin was built over most of the former North Cliff Battery, and Batteries Barbour, Turnbull, and Bacon were built over the former South Cliff Battery, but several of the old magazines and gun platforms still exist, however. Battery Duane was built over two of the platforms of the Glacis Mortar Battery. The remainder of the Glacis Mortar Battery, and the Two Gun Battery were destroyed in the early 1960's for the Verrazano Narrows Bridge (I-278) approach road. See also Fort Wadsworth info from Borough of Staten Island
The old 1828 Fort Tompkins Lighthouse (adjacent to the old Battery Hudson extension) was removed in 1873 and a new lighthouse built in its stead nearby. It too was torn down in 1902 to be replaced by the Fort Wadsworth Lighthouse, located atop Battery Weed. It has recently been restored.
The south portion of the Signal Hill reservation, containing the Clifton (Barry) and Ravenna (Upton) Batteries, and Battery Richmond, was briefly named Fort Newton from 1897 to 1902. Endicott batteries at Fort Wadsworth include: Battery Ayres (ex Miramar Battery) (1901 - 1942) partially buried, Battery Dix (1902 - 1944), New Battery Hudson (1899 - 1944) partially buried, Battery Richmond (1899 - 1942) partially buried, Battery Barry (ex Clifton) (1899 - 1918), Battery Upton (ex Ravenna Battery) (1899 - 1925), Battery Duane (1897 - 1915) mostly destroyed, Battery Barbour (1898 - 1920) partially buried, Battery Mills (1900 - 1943) partially buried, Battery Catlin (1904 - 1942), Battery Bacon (1899 - 1918), and Battery Turnbull (1903 - 1944) mostly buried. Later batteries include Battery 218 (1943), and New Battery Turnbull (AMTB 14) (1942 - 1946) covered. Battery 115 was never built. The post became regional headquarters of all NYC area NIKE missile defenses from 1952 - 1964 (no missiles here). A four-gun 120mm AA battery was located on post in 1952 - 1955 (?). The New York Naval Station was briefly headquartered here from 1990 to 1994 before the post was permanently closed.
To the south near New Dorp, at Miller Army Air Field (1917 - 1973), was AMTB Battery 11 (1943 - 1946) and a fire-control tower for Battery 218. A four-gun 90mm AA battery was also located here in 1952. Just offshore on Swinburne Island was AMTB Battery 12 (1943 - 1946). A fire-control tower was located on Hoffman Island, which was also used as the Coast Guard's Maritime Service Training Station from 1938-45. Both Swinburne and Hoffman Islands are now part of Gateway NRA (no public access), as is Miller Field.
¤¤ Princess Bay Battery (2)
(1898), Staten Island
An unnamed temporary battery at Seguine Point. The nearby former lighthouse was constructed in 1864 (in service until 1922), and the stone seawall was first built in 1870, later repaired/rebuilt several times. (NOTE: The present community's name (since 1861) is actually spelled "Prince's Bay", although both spellings (and pronounciations) are in common use.)
¤¤ Ward Point Battery
(1898), Staten Island
A temporary battery site now located in the surf.
(1898), Bath Beach, Brooklyn
Camp of the 2nd Battalion, New York Naval Militia. Battalion headquarters was located at the foot of 56th Street.
Cold War AAA Defenses of New York City
(1951 - 1957), New York City area
Several permanent sites were established for the Army's Anti-Aircraft Artillery (AAA) Gun Site Program, the precursor to the NIKE missile defense program. Four 90mm AA guns and/or four 120mm AA guns were positioned at each site, with troop barracks and other support buildings. Known sites include:
Fort Slocum (1952 - 1954) 120mm guns, (1955 - 1957) 90mm guns: on post (NY-16).
Bronx (1956 - 1957) 90mm guns: at West Kingsbridge Road and Jerome Ave. (Bronx-Kingsbridge National Guard Armory), or Bedford Park Blvd. West and Goulden Ave., north of the Kingsbridge Armory along the Jerome Park Reservoir, now a parking lot for CUNY-Lehman College (NY-08).
Bronx northeast of Asch Loop and Alcott Place, now Co-Op City apartment complex.
Bronx on Rodman's Neck, now NYPD pistol range.
Bronx at Harding and Huntington Aves., Throgs Neck, now residential area.
Fort Totten (1952 - 1956) 90mm guns (eight): on post (NY-19).
LaGuardia Airport at 23rd Ave. and 90th Street, now Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology.
Flushing Airport at 26th Ave. and Ulmer Street, near College Point Industrial Park, now a baseball field.
Queens near Aves. of Africa and Commerce, in Flushing Meadows Park.
Queens at 73rd Ave. and Francis Lewis Blvd., in Cunningham Park.
Queens near Manton Street and 83rd Ave., at Archbishop Molloy High School ball field.
Queens (South Jamaica) at 157th Street and Foch Blvd., now baseball fields at north end of Baisley Pond Park.
Queens at 131st Ave. and 143rd Street, now South Ozone Park residential area.
Queens (1952 - 1956) 90mm guns: at Aqueduct Racetrack maintenance area, near 135th Ave. (NY-34).
Lido Beach (1952 - 1956) 90mm guns: near Lido Blvd. (NY-30).
Queens (Edgemere) at Beach 32nd Street and Falcon Ave., in Michaelis Bayswater Park.
Queens (Broad Channel) at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Gateway NRA.
Queens (1956 - 1957) 90mm guns: undetermined (NY-40).
Queens (Roxbury) (1952 ? - 1955 ?) 120mm guns, (1956 - 1957) 90mm guns: at Jacob Riis Park, Gateway NRA (NY-41).
Fort Tilden (1952 - 1955) 120mm guns (eight), (1951 - 1954) 90mm guns: on post (NY-43).
Floyd Bennett Field two battery sites at southeast end of runways.
Brooklyn (Canarsie) south of Seaview Ave. and East 80th Street, along Belt Parkway, now Gateway NRA.
Brooklyn (Manhattan Beach) now Kingsborough Community College.
Brooklyn at Cropsey Ave. and Bay 46th Street, along Belt Parkway, now an apartment complex.
Fort Hamilton (1952 - 1954) 120mm guns, (1954 - 1957) 90mm gun battery headquarters only: on post.
Brooklyn (1953 - 1956) 90mm guns: undetermined (NY-45).
Brooklyn (1951 - 1952 ?) 120mm gun battery headquarters only: undetermined.
Fort Wadsworth (1952 - 1955 ?) 120mm guns, (1952) 90mm gun battery headquarters only: on post.
Miller Field (1952) 90mm guns: on post.
Staten Island (Westerleigh) at Staten Island National Guard Armory, 321 Manor Road.
Staten Island (Graniteville) at Comstock Ave. and Cooke Street, now residential area.
(NOTE: undated gun sites, and most others, confirmed by 1954 aerial photos)
(some info provided courtesy of "Fort_Tilden@hotmail.com")
NIKE missile defense sites (1955 - 1974) are beyond the scope of this website.
Please see NEW YORK CITY NIKE MISSILE SITES by Donald Bender.
(See also NEW JERSEY page 1)
Northeastern NY - page 1 |
Mohawk River Valley - page 2 |
Hudson River Valley - page 3
Catskill Region - page 4 | New York City I - page 5 | New York City II - page 6
Long Island - page 8 | Western New York - page 9 | Northwestern New York - page 10
QUESTIONS ? Please send any corrections and/or additions to this list to:
"Updates" at NorthAmericanForts.com