Why is this site significant?
This 172-acre site includes more than 50 historic buildings, including two former military fortifications that are part of a National Monument run by the National Park Service: Fort Jay and Castle Williams. The island’s military history stretches back to 1776, during the Revolutionary War. It served as an Army post from 1783 to 1966, focused primarily on training troops, then as a Coast Guard installation until 1996. Today the area outside the National Monument is owned by New York City.
What did the New York Landmarks Conservancy do?
We have been involved with Governors Island since the Coast Guard left in 1996. We consulted on guidelines for maintaining the historic buildings, lobbied to get the federal government to sell it to the city for $1, and helped form the Friends of Governors Island. We provided pro-bono consulting on the historic buildings to the Governors Island Trust and still serve on its advisory committee.