The Info List - Castle Garden

Castle Clinton
Castle Clinton
or Fort
Clinton, previously known as Castle Garden, is a circular sandstone fort now located in Battery Park, in Manhattan, New York City. It is perhaps best remembered as America's first immigration station (predating Ellis Island), where more than 8 million people arrived in the United States from 1855 to 1890. Over its active life, it has also functioned as a beer garden, exhibition hall, theater, and public aquarium, and currently is a national monument.


1 Historic use 2 19th century 3 Immigration holding center 4 20th century to present 5 Notes 6 References 7 External links

Historic use[edit] Castle Clinton
Castle Clinton
stands approximately two blocks west of where Fort Amsterdam was built in 1626, when New York City
New York City
was known by the Dutch name New Amsterdam. Construction began in 1808 and was completed in 1811. The fort, known as West Battery (sometimes Southwest Battery), was designed by architects John McComb, Jr.
John McComb, Jr.
and Jonathan Williams. It was built on a small artificial island just off shore. West Battery was intended to complement the three-tiered Castle Williams on Governors Island, which was East Battery, to defend New York City from British forces in the tensions that marked the run-up to the War of 1812, but it never saw action in that or any war. Subsequent landfill expanded Battery Park, and the fort was incorporated into the mainland of Manhattan
Island. Castle Clinton
Castle Clinton
National Monument was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966. 19th century[edit]

The Bay and Harbor of New York by Samuel Waugh
Samuel Waugh
(1814–1885), depicting the castle in 1848

First Appearance of Jenny Lind
Jenny Lind
in America, at Castle Garden, September 11, 1850 (Engraving by Currier and Ives)

Aerial view illustration of Manhattan, showing Castle Garden at its tip, ca. 1880

The New York City
New York City
Aquarium was once housed at Castle Garden (image before 1923)

West Battery was renamed Castle Clinton
Castle Clinton
in 1815, its current official name, in honor of New York City
New York City
Mayor DeWitt Clinton
DeWitt Clinton
(who eventually became Governor of New York). The United States Army
United States Army
stopped using the fort in 1821, and it was leased to New York City
New York City
as a place of public entertainment. It opened as Castle Garden on July 3, 1824, a name by which it was popularly known for most of its existence, even to the present time. It served in turn as a promenade, beer garden/restaurant, exhibition hall, opera house, and theater. Designed as an open-air structure, it was eventually roofed over to accommodate these uses. In 1850, the castle was the site of two concerts given for charity by Swedish soprano Jenny Lind
Jenny Lind
to initiate her American tour. A year later, European dancing star Lola Montez
Lola Montez
performed her notorious "tarantula dance" in Castle Garden. In 1853–54, Louis-Antoine Jullien, the eccentric French conductor and composer of light music, gave dozens of very successful concerts mixing classical and light music. The Max Maretzek Italian Opera Company notably staged the New York premieres of Gaetano Donizetti's Marino Faliero on June 17, 1851, and Giuseppe Verdi's Luisa Miller
Luisa Miller
on July 20, 1854, at Castle Garden.[2][3] Immigration holding center[edit] In the first half of the 19th century, most immigrants arriving in New York City landed at docks on the east side of the tip of Manhattan, around South Street. On August 1, 1855, Castle Clinton
Castle Clinton
became the Emigrant Landing Depot, functioning as the New York State immigrant processing center (the nation's first such entity). It was operated by the state until April 18, 1890,[4] when the U. S. government
U. S. government
assumed control of immigration processing, soon moving the center to the larger, more isolated Ellis Island
Ellis Island
facility on January 2, 1892. The new facility was needed because immigrants were known to carry diseases, which led to epidemics of cholera and smallpox. After many unnecessary deaths, and scandals over immigration workers cheating and stealing from immigrants, the immigration center was moved to Ellis Island.[5] Most of Castle Clinton's immigrant passenger records were destroyed in a fire that consumed the first structures on Ellis Island
Ellis Island
on June 15, 1897,[6] but it is generally accepted that over 8 million immigrants (and perhaps as many as 12 million) were processed during its operation. Called Kesselgarten by Yiddish-speaking Eastern European Jews, a Kesselgarten became a generic term for any situation that was noisy, confusing or chaotic, or where a "babel" of languages was spoken (a reference to the multitude of languages heard spoken by the immigrants from many countries at the site).[citation needed] Prominent persons associated with the administration of the immigrant station included Gulian Crommelin Verplanck, Friedrich Kapp, and John Alexander Kennedy. 20th century to present[edit] From 1896 to 1941, Castle Garden was the site of the New York City Aquarium. For many years, it was the city's most popular attraction, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. The structure was extensively altered and roofed over to a height of several stories, though the original masonry fort remained. In 1941, Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority
Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority
Commissioner Robert Moses wanted to tear the structure down completely, claiming that this was necessary to build the Brooklyn–Battery Tunnel.[7] To expedite construction of the tunnel, the city closed the New York Aquarium and moved its fish to other aquariums in September 1941.[8] Moses advocated for the demolition of Castle Clinton,[9] but preservationists who opposed Moses's proposed action asked federal judge to grant an injunction to prevent demolition.[10] Even though Moses initially got the injunction dismissed,[11] the public outcry prevented his effort at demolition. However, the aquarium was closed and not replaced until Moses opened a new facility on Coney Island
Coney Island
in 1957.[12] Albert S. Bard, Walter D. Binger, and other civic reformers advocated to save the castle, which resulted in both houses of the United States Congress
United States Congress
to pass legislation to make the castle a U.S. historic monument.[13] President Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
signed the legislation on August 12, 1946.[14] Although Castle Garden had been designated a national monument, the city still owned the property. In July 1947, the New York City
New York City
Board of Estimate voted to demolish Castle Garden.[15] However, the Board delayed the demolition for another year to allow the federal government to review the decision.[16] In May 1948, the Board voted to demolish the castle for the sixth time in as many years.[17] After another year of discussion, the New York State Assembly
New York State Assembly
reversed its decision to allow the castle to be demolished.[18] The federal government finally obtained the property on July 18, 1950, after the city deeded the land and castle to the federal government.[19] A major rehabilitation took place in the 1970s. It is currently administered by the National Park Service
National Park Service
and is a departure point for visitors to the Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty
and Ellis Island. It appears today much as it did in its earliest days; it has a museum and is again called Castle Clinton.


^ National Park Service
National Park Service
(2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.  ^ Brodsky Lawrence pg. 314 ^ George Whitney Martin pg. 184 ^ About.com, "Castle Garden – America's First Official Immigration Center" ^ LeMay, Michael (2013). Transforming America: Perspectives on U.S. Immigration. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, LLC. pp. 204–206. ISBN 978-0-313-39643-4.  ^ "FIRE ON ELLIS ISLAND; It Broke Out Shortly After Midnight in the Furnace of the Main Building. THE FIREBOAT NEW YORKER AND POLICE BOAT PATROL HAVE GONE TO THE SCENE. Communication With Island Was Cut Off -- It Was Reported that All Persons Escaped With Their Lives". The New York Times. 1897-06-15. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-22.  ^ "BATTERY AQUARIUM TO BE DEMOLISHED; Doomed by Brooklyn
Tunnel, It Will Be Replaced by a Modern One in Bronx COST PUT AT $2,000,000 Modern Exhibition Technique to Be Utilized to Mirror Nature, Osborn Says". The New York Times. February 8, 1941. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 21, 2018.  ^ "FISH TO LEAVE OLD HOME; Aquarium to Start Dispersing Thousands of Specimens". The New York Times. September 23, 1941. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 21, 2018.  ^ "AQUARIUM DOOMED BY ESTIMATE BOARD; Moses Scoffs at Proposal to Restore Old Fort, Saying It 'Never Fired a Shot' MANY PLEAD FOR SAVING IT But the Vote Is 11 to 5 for Demolition to Make Way for Battery Tunnel". The New York Times. June 26, 1942. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 22, 2018.  ^ "INJUNCTION SOUGHT TO SAVE AQUARIUM; Suit Today Will Ask Court to Restrain Moses From Razing Fort
Clinton". The New York Times. August 20, 1942. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 22, 2018.  ^ "MOSES WINS FIGHT TO RAZE AQUARIUM; Court of Appeals Has Denied Injunction Sought by Civic Groups Opposing Him ACTION WAS BEGUN IN 1941 Contest Was Marked by Fierce Exchange Between Park Chief and Pierce T. Wetter". The New York Times. 1943-04-25. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-22.  ^ Author: Caro, Robert A., The Power Broker: Robert Moses
Robert Moses
and the Fall of New York. New York, Knopf, 1974. ISBN 0-394-72024-5 ^ "SENATE APPROVES THE AQUARIUM BILL; Measure to Set Up the Castle Clinton National Monument Is Sent to Truman M'ANENY DEFENDS MOVE Disputes Park Association's Opposition to the Acquisition, Denies Tunnel Interference McAneny Defends Project Plymouth Rock". The New York Times. 1946-07-31. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-22.  ^ "AQUARIUM BLOCK MADE A MONUMENT; Truman Signs Bill Designating Castle Clinton, Battery Park, a National Shrine". The New York Times. 1946-08-13. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-22.  ^ Crowelx, Paul (1947-07-25). "CITY VOTES DEATH OF OLD AQUARIUM; 5-Year Controversy Is Ended as Board of Estimate Allots $50,000 for Demolition MOSES SCORES A VICTORY Final Blow to Memorial Plan Results From Lack of U.S. Funds for Restoration CITY VOTES DEATH OF OLD AQUARIUM". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-22.  ^ "City to Give Government Chance To Prevent Aquarium Demolition; Board of Estimate Agrees to Delay Razing of Castle Clinton
Castle Clinton
to Permit Congress to Vote Funds for Restoration". The New York Times. 1947-08-28. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-22.  ^ "Estimate Board Votes to Complete Demolition of Old Aquarium Here; DEMOLITION VOTED FOR OLD AQUARIUM". The New York Times. 1948-05-28. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-22.  ^ "RESTORATION VOTED FOR CASTLE CLINTON; Assembly Committee Clears Bill Making Possible a U. S. Monument at the Battery GROUP REVERSES' 48 STAND Floor Action Is Expected Next Week on Measure Allowing City to Relinquish Title". The New York Times. 1949-03-16. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-22.  ^ "AQUARIUM BECOMES A U.S. MONUMENT; Action on Castle Clinton
Castle Clinton
at Battery Taken After City Deeds Site to Government MUCH WORK TO BE DONE Building Started in 1808 Now Only a Shell--$166,750 in Restoration Funds Work Started in 1808 Announcement Is Hailed". The New York Times. 1950-07-19. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-22. 


Castle Garden as an Immigrant Depot, 1855–1890, by George J Svejda (1968) Castle Garden and Battery Park
Battery Park
by Barry Moreno (2007) Guide to the New York Aquarium by Charles H. Townsend (1919) Vera Brodsky Lawrence (1995). Strong on Music: The New York Music Scene in the Days of George Templeton. University of Chicago Press.  George Whitney Martin (2011). Verdi in America: Oberto Through Rigoletto. University Rochester Press. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Castle Clinton
Castle Clinton
National Monument.

Official website Castle Clinton
Castle Clinton
from GORP The Battery Conservancy CastleGarden.org, searchable database of 13.3 million immigrants arriving in New York before 1892 (90% complete)

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Naturalization Act 1906 Gentlemen's Agreement (1907) Immigration Act of 1907 Immigration Act 1917 (Asian Barred Zone) Emergency Quota Act
Emergency Quota Act
(1921) Cable Act
Cable Act
(1922) Immigration Act 1924 Tydings–McDuffie Act
Tydings–McDuffie Act
(1934) Filipino Repatriation Act (1935) Nationality Act of 1940 Bracero Program (1942–1964) Magnuson Act
Magnuson Act
(1943) War Brides Act (1945) Luce–Celler Act (1946)


UN Refugee Convention (1951) Immigration and Nationality Act 1952 / 1965 Refugee Act
Refugee Act
(1980) Immigration Reform and Control Act (1986) American Homecoming Act
American Homecoming Act
(1989) Immigration Act 1990 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) (1996) Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) (1997) American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act (ACWIA) (1998)

21st century

American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act (AC21) (2000) Legal Immigration Family Equity Act (LIFE Act) (2000) H-1B Visa Reform Act (2004) REAL ID Act
(2005) Secure Fence Act (2006) DACA (2012) Executive Order 13769
Executive Order 13769
(2017) Executive Order 13780
Executive Order 13780

Visas and policies

Visa policy

Permanent residence Visa Waiver Program Temporary protected status Asylum Green Card Lottery

US-VISIT Security Advisory Opinion E-Verify Section 287(g) National Origins Formula

Government organizations

Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement U.S. Border Patrol U.S. Customs and Border Protection Immigration and Naturalization Service
Immigration and Naturalization Service
(INS) Board of Immigration Appeals

Supreme Court cases

United States v. Wong Kim Ark
United States v. Wong Kim Ark
(1898) United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind
United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind
(1923) United States v. Brignoni-Ponce
United States v. Brignoni-Ponce
(1975) Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting
Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting

Related issues and events

Economic impact Eugenics in the United States Guest worker program Human trafficking Human smuggling


Immigration reform Immigration reduction Mexico–United States barrier Labor shortage March for America Illegal immigrant population Reverse immigration 2006 protests Unaccompanied minors from Central America List of people deported from the United States


Mexico–United States border Canada–United States border United States Border Patrol interior checkpoints

Proposed legislation

(2001–2010) H.R. 4437 (2005) McCain–Kennedy (2005) SKIL (2006) Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act 2006 STRIVE Act (2007) Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act 2007 Uniting American Families Act
Uniting American Families Act
(2000–2013) Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 SAFE Act (2015) RAISE Act

Immigration stations and points of entry

Angel Island Castle Garden East Boston Ellis Island Sullivan's Island Washington Avenue


"Wetback" (1954) "Peter Pan" (1960–1962) "Babylift" (1975) "Gatekeeper" (1994) "Endgame" (2003–2012) "Front Line" (2004–2005) "Streamline" (2005–present) "Return to Sender" (2006–2007) "Jump Start" (2006–2008) "Phalanx" (2010–2016)

State legislation

California DREAM Act
(2006–2010) Arizona SB 1070
Arizona SB 1070
(2010) Alabama HB 56 (2011)

Non-governmental organizations

Arizona Border Recon Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform National Immigration Forum Center for Community Change We Are America Alliance CASA of Maryland Mexica Movement Mexicans Without Borders Federation for American Immigration Reform Minuteman Project Minuteman Civil Defense Corps California Coalition for Immigration Reform Save Our State Center for Immigration Studies National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) NumbersUSA Negative Population Growth Migration Policy Institute Utah Compact Center for Migration Studies of New York

New York