• Eagle Sculpture

    5 Days Left to Vote to Save Our Eagle

    There are only five days left to vote in the Save Our Eagle campaign, to win funding from American Express to help restore the eagle sculpture above Fort Jay. There is a three-way push from the Governors Island National Monument, Friends of Governors Island, and The Trust For Governors Island to get the vote out. As we reported last month, the Governors Island National Monument is now in a competition with other national parks across the nation to try and get a piece of the $2 million grant to help bring back the historic 1790s sandstone sculpture to a better state of preservation. Out of twenty parks, only five will…

  • News,  Tour

    Weekly Walking Tours Begin July 7

    To answer the demand for walking tours, they are going to be held weekly in July and August this summer. Beginning July 7, they will be given every Thursday at 11:30 AM. To attend, you should take the 10:00 or 11:00 AM ferry. Advance tickets are on sale via FareHarbor.com and are recommended, as the tours do sell out. The two-hour walking tour will focus on the three hundred years of island history. Learn about the people and stories that shaped Governors Island. Stops explore the military life, Civil War and World War I events, aviation pioneers, and even where the tiny railroad once ran. The tour is led by…

  • Pier 101

    Brooklyn Ferry Service Expanded

    It is is a story we have been tracking for quite awhile: the ferry service to Brooklyn. On the eve of the fourteenth public season on the Island, good news was delivered today by the Trust For Governors Island. Opening weekend will have more ferries: Expanded ferry service from Brooklyn this summer! On opening weekend, ferries will run every half hour between Brooklyn and Governors Island from Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Half hour service will run on Saturday, May 28, Sunday May 29 and Monday May 30. Funding for additional ferry service has been provided by Council Member Brad Lander. Find the full ferry schedule here.

  • Eagle Sculpture

    #SaveOurEagle Campaign Launches at Fort Jay

    Following up on what we wrote about last week during the restoration work of the eagle sculpture at Fort Jay, comes word that the National Park Service is taking the fundraising public. The Governors Island National Monument is now in a competition with other national parks across the nation to try and get a piece of the $2 million pie to bring the sculpture back to its former glory. The eagle needs help. Yesterday the Friends of Governors Island announced that they are backing the effort: The sandstone eagle sculpture atop Fort Jay’s monumental arch on Governors Island is a one-of-a-kind national treasure and work of art, but two centuries…

  • Block House

    Geocaching Comes to Governors Island

    Ready to explore 200 years of Island history? Join geocache fans and search for hidden caches stashed across Governors Island! On Sunday, May 29, pickup the free geocache clue sheet at the ferry landing welcome sign Friends of Governors Island tent (or log on to geocaching.com) and start your adventure. From one end of the Island to the other are caches that explore the history of the Island. When you find the cache, sign the logbook and return it to the cache. To participate all you need is a smartphone or handheld GPS device. The geocaching tour is created by The Governors Island Explorer’s Guide, the new guidebook from Globe…

  • Castle Williams

    Book Signing at Castle Williams May 28-29

    I am signing copies of my new book The Governors Island Explorer’s Guide (Globe Pequot Press) on Saturday and Sunday, May 28 and 29, from 11 AM to Noon both days. The location is a national historic landmark, a city landmark: Castle Williams on Governors Island. The fort is part of the Governors Island National Monument and is run by the National Park Service. The rangers have free tours of Castle Williams. I’ll be in the courtyard on opening weekend of Governors Island. Immediately following the book signings I’m leading free walking tours of the Island, starting at Soissons Dock, where the Manhattan ferry comes lands, at 12:15. By purchasing…

  • Eagle Sculpture

    Restoration of Fort Jay Eagle Sculpture Underway

    On Tuesday I was able to get a sneak peek inside Fort Jay at the restoration work ongoing by the National Park Service to repair the Eagle Sculpture. This is the large sculpture from the 1790s, made of sandstone by an unknown artist, that is above the fort’s sallyport. It was damaged during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Michael Shaver, chief of interpretation of the Governors Island National Monument, led us. Ranger Shaver explained that funding for the storm repair is allowing for a master stone carver to replace and repair the pieces damaged in the storm. Currently the bottom of of the flags is being replaced. The “new” stone was…

  • Civil War Weekend on Governors Island (Photo: U.S. National Park Service)

    National Park Service Seeks Feedback From Visitors

    News from the Governors Island National Monument. On Tuesday, May 17, they are hosting meetings with visitors on the Island to preview exhibits and gather feedback on plans. This is a great way to get onto the Island a few days before it opens to the public, and make your voice heard in plans that the National Park Service is undertaking. The press release: Governors Island National Monument Seeks Public Input for Fort Jay Exhibit Design. We are offering an opportunity for you to comment on and to receive a sneak preview of new outdoor exhibits planned for Fort Jay, this Tuesday, May 17, 2016, on Governors Island. Participants will…

  • City of Water Day

    City of Water Day Returns July 16

    The ninth annual City of Water Day will return to Governors Island on July 16, 10 AM to 4 PM. Those with human-powered boats and kayaks are invited to paddle to the Island; for those without boats free rowing, kayaking, and paddle-boarding will be offered. The highlight of the day is the Cardboard Kayak Race on the water. The event is also held in Hoboken at Maxwell Place Park and neighborhood locations around New York Harbor. The events are sponsored by the Waterfront Alliance, working to revitalize the harbor and waterfront. The Waterfront Alliance’s City of Water Day is a free, family-oriented celebration of the world-class potential of the New…

  • History

    The Forlorn Landmark YMCA Building Turns 90

    With the Island closed to the public until May 28, we’ll take a look at some of the history of Governors Island. Ninety years ago this summer a building opened on the Island to great acclaim and was once one of the most popular on the Island. It has not been in use since President Kennedy was in office and today is boarded-up and closed. This is the Army YMCA, next door to the Fort Jay Theatre, which is also closed to the public. It faces Owasco Road, north of Cartigan Road (N 40.688006 E -74.016971). The first YMCA was built on Governors Island in 1900 to provide a place…