Bridge and Battery

Fort Wadsworth was part of a string of naval forts built to protect New York harbor.  First fortified in the 17th century, at the time of the American revolution it was known as Fort Flagstaff, and captured by the British when they took New York City.  It was not taken back until the war’s end in 1783, and since that time New York harbor has never been taken by enemy forces again.

The battery in the foreground is known as Battery Weed.  Construction began in 1845 and completed in 1861.  The battery was obsolete almost immediately, as advances in naval guns by the middle of the Civil War made the battery susceptible to return fire.  Accordingly, it was never really used.  You can see the holes through which cannons were meant to be placed.

Across the Narrows, but not really visible, is Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn, which formed the other half of the defense of the Narrows.  Fort Hamilton is still in use as an installation for the Army National Guard and the US Army Reserve.  Fort Wadsworth (which has been so named since the Civil War) is now a national park.

Finally, there is something about a camera that loves bridges, isn’t there?  The Verrazano Narrows Bridge was the last of Robert Moses’s great projects.  It connects Brooklyn to Staten Island, and from its opening in 1964 until 1981, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world.

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