About a 1/2 mile from the southernmost tip of Manhattan is this 172 acre history filled location. The island has been open to the general public on weekends during the Summer since its transfer to New York State at a sale of $1 on February 1, 2003.
During the warmer months, specifically Spring and Summer, there are plenty of events taking place on the island with ferry access to be found from Lower Manhattan. Please continue to check this site’s Main Events Calendar for such events as they become available in Spring.
At the time of this writing we’re in high anticipation of the 2014 opening of the island considering the work, renovation and construction of 30 acres of new park and public spaces.
As per the official site:
“”The Trust for Governors Island has completed construction on the first 30 acres of new park and public spaces.””
“”The new 30 acres of park include Liggett Terrace, a sunny, six-acre plaza with seasonal plantings, seating, water features and public art; Hammock Grove, a sunny ten-acre space that is home to 1,500 new trees, play areas and 50 hammocks; and the Play Lawn, 14 acres for play and relaxation that includes two natural turf ball fields sized for adult softball and Little League baseball. In addition, new welcome areas have been added at the Island’s ferry landings, as have key visitor amenities, including lighting, seating and signage throughout the Historic District.””
“”These spaces open for public use in May 2014 when the Island re-opens to the public.””
“”The Trust has also broken ground on The Hills, four man-made hills promising dramatic new experiences and views of the Harbor that are the culminating feature of the new Governors Island Park. Made of recycled construction and fill materials, The Hills will rise 30 to 80 feet above the Island, and the summit of the tallest Hill will provide visitors with a 360-degree panorama of the Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor and the Lower Manhattan skyline. The Hills are currently under construction with the goal of completion in 2015.””
The Governor’s House
One of the numerous structures/houses on the island would be this one. A nearby plaque outside the house reads as follows:
The name “Governor’s House” is a misnomer as no New York State governor ever occupied the building. In 1698, the British officially acquired the island, and English colonial governors established a headquarters here, resulting in the name “Governors Island” The house may have been called “the Governor’s House,” due to its proximity to the location of the original English colonial governor’s residence, which no longer survives.
The house was altered many times over the years. The most dramatic of these changes was the removal of the original two-story porches located on the east and west facades of the building, and the addition of the garage and patio at its rear. The majority of the alterations were made in the 1830s when the roof and porches were changed. The rear garage addition was created in the 1930s.
Restoring Oysters in the Harbor
A plaque reads as follows:
As part of the “Comprehensive Restoration Plan” for the New York / New Jersey Harbor Estuary, the Hudson River Foundation has established the Oyster Restoration Research Project (ORRP). NY/NJ Baykeeper, Urban Assembly New York Harbor School, and 17 other partners are calling for 500 acres of restored oyster reefs by 2015 and 5,000 acres by 2050. These partners are working hard to determine the best sites and methods to use in moving toward large-scale oyster reef restoration.
For the past ten years, NY/NJ Baykeeper has been running the popular oyster gardening program, attracting teachers, girl/boy scouts, civic organizations, senior groups, and organizations, senior groups, and educational centers, as well as private citizens and families, and training them to raise oysters in nets or cages. Over the course of one year, these citizen scientists monitor their oysters’ growth and report back to NY/NJ Baykeeper with data on growth and survival. This data provides needed insight into oyster welfare in the Harbor and fuel for ideas for future oyster restoration.
The ORRP has been greatly enhanced now that the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School has moved to Governors Island. The school’s Aquaculture students, led by Pete Malinowski, are spawning millions of oyster larvae, placing them on old shells, and raising them in flatable facilities. With the help of vessel operations classes and SCUBA-certified student divers, the NYHS has already placed over 250,000 oysters on reef sites in the Harbor.
The school’s future Marine Science and Technology (MAST) Center will host specially designed docks that each have the capacity to grow millions of oysters, as well as a plethora of historic and educational vessels used to monitor the growth. The first of these deployments is the FLUPSY (Floating Upweller System) and Eco-Dock, where students are managing the oyster restoration process right from the center of New York Harbor.