Governors Island National Monument is Among 20 Most Visited Monuments in the US

Fort Jay, part of Governors Island National Monument, is one of the most popular National Monuments in the entire nation (photo by A. Moore).

This week, the Los Angeles Times named America’s 20 most visited National Monuments. Governors Island National Monument shares the list with such beautiful and historic places as Fort McHenry, Muir Woods and the Statue of Liberty. View the entire list and slideshow.

In 2012, as the nation celebrates the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, hopefully more visitors than ever will come to Fort Jay and Castle Williams and Governors Island. The Island opens on May 26 so get ready to plan your visit!


The cannonball was found earlier today behind the seawall, near Soissons Dock

We often find interesting things on Governors Island, and today was no exception. This morning, while doing construction work near Soissons Dock, workers found an old cannon ball near the seawall. NYPD came out to assess the cannonball and determined that it was a solid shot made of iron and contained no explosive material.  Since it was deemed safe, it can now join other cannonballs that visitors see on the Island, like those near Fort Jay.

Cannonballs near the entrance to Fort Jay

The cannonball is about 12 inches in diameter and could have possibly come from the 15 inch cannons in Fort Jay or Castle Williams, but it is more likely that they were left over from when the Island was an arsenal and surplus cannonballs were sent here. In historic photos from the Army era, one can see that cannonballs were very prevalent and were often piled in front of buildings or used for decorative purposes on lawns.

Cannonballs, like those seen here on the right, were placed on the lawn outside of Pershing Hall. (photo from NY Public Library)

In 1942, most of these were hauled off to melt into scrap metal to support the war effort, but perhaps one or two remained behind, like the one we found today!

This historic photo shows a cannon at Fort Jay with cannon balls at the ready. (photo from NY Public Library)

ZviDance. Back again for a final preformance of ‘White’

Come out to Governors Island for this final performance of ‘White’, the acclaimed dance piece by director Zvi Gothenier, six dancers and composer Scott Killian. It is part of a summer series by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the River to River Festival. Together they have collaborated to create a piece “using Fort Jay’s historical significance and eerie sense of abandonment to reflect on our attempts to feel secure by arming our borders. The dancers wrap areas of the site with long white gauze strips reminiscent of bandages, slowly creating a web-like sculpture intertwining throughout the space” LMCC.


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