Battery, the

Battery, the, park, 21 acres (8.5 hectares), southern tip of Manhattan island, New York City; site of former Dutch and English fortifications. Castle Clinton, a fort built in 1808 for the defense of New York harbor, was ceded to the city in 1823 and renamed Castle Garden. It was remodeled and served as a noted amusement hall and opera house; Swedish soprano Jenny Lind made her U.S. debut on its stage in 1850. From 1855 to 1892 it served as the main immigration station for New York City, and from 1896 to 1941 it housed an aquarium.

After World War II the park was remodeled, and Castle Clinton became a national monument (see National Parks and Monuments, table). The park also contains a war memorial and a statue of Giovanni da Verrazano, the first European to enter New York harbor. Boats to Liberty Island and Ellis Island leave from the park. New residential communities, such as Battery Park City, have developed in the area around the park.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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