Open House New York
Architect: McKim, Mead, and White, 1921
As long as the Chrysler Building is tall, Liggett Hall is the largest building on Governors Island. Designed by McKim, Meade and White in 1921 to house the Army’s 16th Infantry Division, this nearly 400,000 square foot Georgian Revival style building located in the heart of the Island serving as the gateway between the historic district and new park spaces. Atop the archway of this mammoth building sits a gymnasium never before open to the public, used by the Coast Guard until their departure in 1996.
Image credit: Jeff Liao for the Trust for Governors Island
Visitors will enter a historic building that is unfinished. Hard-soled, comfortable shoes are recommended.
Governors Island National Monument
Architect: Colonel Jonathan Williams & others, 1794-1930s
Governors Island lies a few hundred yards off the southern tip of Manhattan, at the confluence of the Hudson and East Rivers in New York Harbor. The island’s fortifications—Fort Jay and Castle Williams—served as an early outpost to protect New York City from enemy naval attack and were an integral part of a larger coastal defense network. Fort Jay and Castle Williams were erected between 1796 and 1811 as part of the First and Second American Systems of Fortification. They are among the finest examples of defensive structures in use from the Renaissance to the American Civil War and sit within a larger National Historic Landmark District, surrounded by unparalleled views of the harbor and New York City skyline.
Governors Island was a military post and later a major command headquarters United States Army from 1794 until 1966. For the next 30 years, it was home to Atlantic Area Command, the U.S. Coast Guard’s largest and most complex installation in the world. In 2003, the island was sold and transferred to two parties: 22 acres, designated as the Governors Island National Monument and administered by the National Park Service; and 150 acres is administered by The Trust for Governors Island. Today, this former military installation isset aside as public parkland and is a spectacular destination in New York Harbor. During OHNY Weekend, the roof of Castle Williams will be open to visitors, weather permitting
For Kids: Junior Ranger activities will be available for families with children.
Since the first OHNY Weekend in 2003, Governors Island National Monument is one of almost 50 that have participated for 10 or more years. When you visit, please thank them for championing an open city!
Image Credit: Michael Shaver, NPS