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Governors Island National Monument

Governors Island National Monument - BEST Places to Picnic

10 South Street - Slip 7
New York, NY 10004-1900

Visitor Information
(212) 825-3045

Explore the Silent Sentinel in New York Harbor

For more than two centuries, the military communities on Governors Island were woven into the intricate social, political and economic tapestry that is New York City. From 1776-1996, Governors Island stood as a silent sentinel in New York Harbor, and provided protection of the ideals represented by the Statue of Liberty across the Bay. We invite you to explore the Island's history as it evolved from colonial outpost to regional administrative center for the U.S. Army and Coast Guard.


Governors Island is a 10-minute ferry ride from Lower Manhattan.

The Governors Island Ferry is located in the Battery Maritime Building, Slip # 7.


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 and are among the finest examples of defensive structures in use from the Renaissance to the American Civil War. They sit within a larger National Historic Landmark District and are surrounded by unparalleled views of the harbor and New York City skyline.

Governors Island was the command headquarters and military post for the United States Army from 1794 until 1966. For the next 30 years, it was the U.S. Coast Guard�s largest and most complex installation.

In 2003, the island was sold and transferred to two parties: 22 acres, designated as the Governors Island National Monument, to the Secretary of the Interior, and managed by the National Park Service; and 150 acres to the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation (GIPEC) , a corporation formed jointly by the State and City of New York. Today, city, state and federal agencies are in the planning stages of converting this former military installation into new public parkland and a spectacular destination in New York Harbor.

At this time, Governors Island is open to the public on a seasonal basis. Public services and facilities are very limited.

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