In honor of Fleet Week 2016, Life-Wire News Service reviews the top ten interesting and surprising facts about Fort Wadsworth and the Narrows in New York Harbor.
1. Fort Wadsworth is the longest continuously operated fort in the United States. It was open from 1663 to 1994.
2. Fort Wadsworth was open to the public as part of the National Park Service in 1995.
3. During the War of 1812, Fort Wadsworth was one of a number of forts that kept the British out of New York Harbor. They attacked and burned down Washington D.C. instead.
4. Battery Weed, the fort at the water’s edge, was built during the 1840s, and Fort Tompkins, the fort on the bluff, was built from 1859 to 1876.
5. The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge which connects Fort Wadsworth, Staten Island and Brooklyn was open in 1964.
6. The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge was named for the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano. However, his name was misspelled with only one “z” to name the bridge.
7. The population on Staten Island exploded after the bridge was open, increasing from over 220,000 to over 470,000 today.
8. The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge was the last great work of Staten Islander Othmar Ammann. Among the bridges he designed are the Bayonne Bridge, the Goethals Bridge and the Outerbridge Crossing, which all connect Staten Island to New Jersey.
9. There is no pedestrian crossing on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge . There are two annual events during which the bridge can be crossed without a vehicle — the New York City Marathon and the Five Boro Bike Tour.
10. Runners gather in Fort Wadsworth before beginning the run over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge during the NYC Marathon. Bikers gather in the fort for a festival after crossing the bridge during the Five Boro Bike Tour.
Photos were taken during a Life-Wire News Service photo shoot at Fleet Week 2016.
Text by Anthony DiFato, Joseph Padalino, Anthony DiCostanzo, Meredith Arout, and Adriana Kolari with Kathryn Carse.