Castle Garden

At the tip of Manhattan, there was originally an island which was eventually joined to the mainland with landfill. There was a fort built on this spot between 1808 and 1811 in preparation for the coming war with England. It was known as the Southwest Battery . It was renamed Castle Clinton in 1815 after DeWitt Clinton, one time governor of New York. In 1824 it was renamed Castle Garden and transformed into a concert hall famous among other things as the site of Jenny Lind’s debut as an singer. Presidents, politicians and the Marquis de LaFayette came to the castle to see its various entertainments..

Then it again changed drastically to become the reception center for the waves of immigrants arriving in New York harbor. It was where they were to receive medical attention, change money and obtain information about housing.

When the number of immigrants became too large for Castle Garden to handle, the center was moved to Ellis Island. It was also taken over from New York State by the Federal government.