Castle Clinton is located in New York City's Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan. There are a variety of hotel accommodations available in the area. Also known as Fort Clinton, Castle Clinton was the first immigration station, before Ellis Island. Some of the most famous people to immigrate through Castle Clinton were Harry Houdini, Joseph Pulitzer, and Nikola Tesla. It was built in 1811 by architects Jonathan Williams and John McComb Jr. as a sandstone fort on what was originally an artificial island.
Since then, it has served as a theater, beer garden, aquarium, and now a national monument. On October 15, 1966 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Through land reclamation work, the island where Castle Clinton stood was connected with mainland Manhattan. In 1815, Castle Clinton was renamed in honor of New York Mayor Dewitt Clinton. The original name was West Battery.
In 1821, the US Army stopped using the fort and leased it to the city of New York. On July 3, 1824, New York reopened the building for public entertainment as Castle Garden. It was used as a restaurant, beer garden, promenade, open house, theater, and exhibition hall. A roof was installed, even though the buildings original design was for it to be an open-air structure. Castle Clinton's exhibition center was used to demonstrate many new inventions to the people of New York, including: Steam powdered fire engines, the telegraph, underwater electronic explosives, and Colt revolving rifles.
Castle Clinton was the location of the New York City Aquarium from 1896 through 1941. It was New York's most popular tourist attraction at the time, which attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. The building was extensively modified and several stories were added to the original masonry fort. The aquarium was closed in 1941 and a new facility was built in 1957 on Coney Island.
Castle Clinton is now administered by the National Park Service. It serves as a ferry departure point for visitors going to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. The current structure resembles the original open-air design and contains a museum. The location in Battery Park makes Castle Clinton easily accessible from many nearby hotels. Castle Clinton is a nice place to enjoy to a concert, hop on a ferry to Ellis Island and the or relax on a bench and enjoy a picnic lunch at the southern point of Manhattan.
Tickets for the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island ferry may be purchased at Castle Clinton. Twenty minute Guided tours are offered daily by the park rangers at 10:00 AM, 12:00 PM, and 2:00 PM. They explain the history of Castle Clinton and how it served as a fort, immigration center, entertainment complex, and aquarium. There are no admission fees for any events or activities at Castle Clinton. It is open every day except December 25 from 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM. It may be closed due to weather some days. The phone number is 212-344-7220.Find hotels nearby