Governors Island National Monument
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Colonel Jonathan Williams & others, 1794-1930s

Governors Island lies a few hundred yards off the southern tip of Manhattan, at the confluence of the Hudson and East Rivers in New York Harbor. The island's fortifications—Fort Jay and Castle Williams—served as an early outpost to protect New York City from enemy naval attack and were an integral part of a larger coastal defense network. Fort Jay and Castle Williams were erected between 1796 and 1811 as part of the First and Second American Systems of Fortification. They are among the finest examples of defensive structures in use from the Renaissance to the American Civil War and sit within a larger National Historic Landmark District, surrounded by unparalleled views of the harbor and New York City skyline.

Governors Island was a military post and later a major command headquarters United States Army from 1794 until 1966. For the next 30 years, it was home to Atlantic Area Command, the U.S. Coast Guard's largest and most complex installation in the world. In 2003, the island was sold and transferred to two parties: 22 acres, designated as the Governors Island National Monument and administered by the National Park Service; and 150 acres is administered by The Trust for Governors Island. Today, this former military installation is set aside as public parkland and is a spectacular destination in New York Harbor. During OHNY Weekend, the roof of Castle Williams will be open to visitors, weather permitting

For Kids: Junior Ranger activities will be available for families with children.

Since the first OHNY Weekend in 2003, this site is one of almost 50 have participated for 10 or more years. When you visit, please thank them for championing an open city! To see a full list of 15th Anniversary sites, click here.


Image Credit: Michael Shaver, NPS