Historical Castle Garden Photographs

In this post we will be examining various historical photographs of Castle Garden in NYC. After each photograph we will give a title to the image as well as a publication date. Below that information we will also provide a brief synopsis of what is contained and displayed in the photograph itself. If you have any questions or comments about the material please feel free to leave them below.

Castle Garden Immigrant Depot Entrance (1870 – 1890?)

Interesting photograph of Castle Garden as it displays one of the entrances into the main immigrant depot. We know that this is the depot largely because “Castle Garden” is written in huge text on the front of the building. What I really like about this historical photograph is the various people displayed infront of the building itself. From the looks of it the people range from immigration officers to actual immigrants. It also appears that this photograph was taken either during the late fall or winter as the trees infront of the building have no leaves. The publication considered to have been taken in the later part of the 1800’s, but we cannot confirm that. The only thing we can confirm is that Castle Garden was in operation from 1855 – 1890.

Castle Garden Main Building (1855 – 1870?)

If we look at this photograph we obviously can see the Castle Garden immigration building (the same one in the previous photograph). What’s interseting about this photograph is that there is practically nothing around the main building, leading me to believe that this photograph was taken in the earlier years of operation. This photograph was used in a publication titled the “The Kings Handbook of New York City” – 1893. We know that Castle Garden stopped operation in 1890, so this is obviously a photograph from a previous date.

Castle Garden and New York City Harbor (1902)

A wonderful panoramic photograph we have in our collection that displays Castle Garden off in the distance as well as the surrounding buildings and areas. If you look really really far into the New York City Harbor you can see the statue of liberty. I really like that you get to see a side street next to castle garden in which you get to see the nearby businesses and horse and buggies. Based on the park in the foreground of Castle Garden I can only assume that this photograph was taken in a late spring, summer or early fall time period in 1902.

Castle Garden and NYC Harbor Aerial Photograph (1902)

We have another aerial photograph of Castle Garden and the NYC harbor, again like the last one it was taken in 1902. In the far distance of the harbor you can see the Statue of Liberty a little better. You can also see the various ships throughout the harbor. Based on the steam coming from the boats and buildings and the leafless trees around Castle Garden I’m going to make the assumption that this photograph was taken during the winter months.

If you would like us to find more historical photographs of Castle Garden or other parts of New York City please leave a comment below and make a request!


Battery Park NYC Historical Photograph, Maps and Prints

Just wanted to share with you some of our collection of New York City Battery Park Maps, Photographs and vintage prints. Obviously the content ranges and gives different historical perspectives to what battery park was like in New York City. Take the time to examine and investigate this vintage material and if you have any questions please leave them below in the comments section.

Vintage Battery Park NYC Painting (1811)

Vintage Battery Park NYC Painting (1812)

Vintage Map of Battery Park NYC (1871)

Vintage Photograph of Battery Park NYC (1902)

Vintage Print of Battery Park NYC (1921)

Battery Place Vintage Photograph (1893)

Vintage Battery Park NYC Painting (1902)

Vintage Pictorial Map of Lower NYC (Battery Park) 1914

History of Battery Park in New York City

The lowest and one of the largest of the pleasure grounds of the city, is the park lying at the extreme end of the island, at the junction of the Hudson and East rivers, and known as the Battery. At the first settlement of the Dutch, the fort, for the protection of the little colony, was built at some distance from the extreme edge of the island, which was then rocky and swampy, but near enough to it to sweep the point with a raking fire. This fort occupied the site of the present Bowling Green. In 1658 Governor Stuyvesant erected a fine mansion, afterwards known as “The Whitehall,” in the street now called by that name, but “Capsey Rocks,” as the southern point of the island was called, remained unoccupied. In 1693, the Kingdom of Great Britain being at war with France, the Governor ordered the erection of a battery “on the point of rocks under the fort,” and after considerable trouble, succeeded in obtaining from the Common Council, who were very reluctant to pay out the public money for any purpose not specified in the charter—a virtue which seems to have died with them—the sum necessary for that purpose. In 1734 a bill was passed by the General Assembly of the Province, ordering the erection of a battery on Capsey Rocks, and forbidding the erection of houses which would interfere with the fire of its guns, “on the river, or on parts which overflow with water, between the west part of the Battery, or Capsey Rocks, to Ells Corner on the Hudson River,” (the present Marketfield street).

During the years preceding the Revolution, and throughout that struggle, the Battery was used exclusively for military purposes. About the year 1792 measures were taken for filling up, enclosing, and ornamenting the place as a public park, to which use it has since been devoted.

During the first half of the present century the Battery was the favorite park of the New Yorkers, and was indeed the handsomest. The march of trade, however, proved too much for it. The fashion and respectability of the city which had clustered near it were driven up town. Castle Garden, which had been a favorite Opera House, was converted into an emigrant depot, and the Battery was left to the emigrants and to the bummers. Dirt was carted and dumped here by the load, all sorts of trash was thrown here, and loafers and drunken wretches laid themselves out on the benches and on the grass to sleep in the sun, when the weather was mild enough. It became a plague spot, retaining as the only vestige of its former beauty, its grand old trees, which were once the pride of the city.

In 1869, however, the spot was redeemed. The sea-wall which the General Government had been building for the protection of the land was finished, and the Battery was extended out to meet it. The old rookeries and street-stands that had clustered about Castle Garden were removed, the rubbish which had accumulated here was carted away, and the Battery was again transformed into one of the handsomest of the city parks.

It now covers an area of about twelve acres, and is tastefully and regularly laid off. Broad stone paved walks traverse it in various directions, and the shrubbery and flowers are arranged with the best possible effect. A tall flag-staff rises from the centre of the park, and close by is a stand from which the city band give their concerts at stated times in the summer. A massive stone wall protects the harbor side from the washing of the waves, and at certain points granite stairs lead to the water.

The view from the Battery embraces a part of Brooklyn and the East River, Governor’s and Staten islands, the Inner Bay, the Jersey shore, North River and Jersey City. The eye ranges clear down to the Narrows, and almost out to sea, and commands a view which cannot be surpassed in beauty. Here the sea breeze is always pure and fresh, here one may come for a few moments’ rest from the turmoil of the great city, and delight himself with the lovely picture spread out before him.