Fort Tryon Park



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Fort Tryon Park is a public park located in the Washington Heights section of the borough of Manhattan in New York City, USA. It is situated on a 67 acre (270,000 m²) ridge in Upper Manhattan, with a commanding view of the Hudson River, the George Washington Bridge, the New Jersey Palisades and the Harlem River. Once known by the name "Chquaesgeck" by local Lenape Indians, it was called Lange Bergh (Long Hill) by Dutch settlers until the 17th century.
Fort Tryon Park is also site of The Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to medieval art and culture, and home to the Unicorn Tapestries. The Cloisters incorporates several medieval buildings that were purchased in Europe, brought to the United States, and reassembled, often stone by stone.
Fort Tryon Park was an ancillary site of the American Revolutionary War Battle of Fort Washington, fought on November 16, 1776, between 2,900 American soldiers and 8,000 invading Hessian troops hired by Great Britain. Margaret Corbin became the first woman to fight in the war and was wounded during the battle. The actual site of Fort Washington is less than a mile south at Bennett Park. After the British victory, the outpost was named after Sir William Tryon, the last British Governor of the Province of New York.
As New York City expanded and prospered, the area was part of a country estate whose wealthy owners, included Dr. Samuel Watkins, founder of Watkins Glen, General Daniel Butterfield, Boss Tweed and C.K.G. Billings. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. purchased the Billings estate in 1917. He hired Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., son of the designer of Central Park, to plan a park that he would give to the city. Fort Tryon Park was constructed during the Great Depression, providing many jobs. The project included the 190th Street subway station on the IND Eighth Avenue Line (which is the closest station to the park). The park was completed in 1935. Olmstead included extensive flower plantings, including a Heather Garden that was restored in the 1980s. Besides the gardens and the Cloisters, the park has extensive walking paths and meadows, with views of the Hudson and Harlem Rivers.
Remnants of C.K.G. Billings estate are the red-brick pathways (partially paved-over) which are found near the entrance at Margaret Corbin Circle (190th Street and Ft. Washington Avenue), and continues down to the massively arched structure (originally a driveway) which continues down to the highway.
The Fort Tryon Park is built on a formation of Manhattan schist and contains interesting examples of igneous intrusions and of glacial striations from the last Ice Age. The lower lying regions to the east and north of the Fort Tryon Park are built on Inwood marble.
During the years before World War I, the Fort Tryon Park lent its name to the neighborhood to its south. The area between Broadway and the Hudson River, as far south as West 179th Street, was known as Fort Tryon. References to the old name survive in the Fort Tryon Jewish Center (on Fort Washington Avenue between W. 183rd and W. 185th Streets (there is no W. 184th Street on Fort Washington Avenue)), the Fort Tryon Deli and Grocery (also on Fort Washington Avenue, at W. 187th Street), and in the pages of the Not for Tourists Guide to New York City. By the 1940s the neighborhood was known as Frankfurt-on-the-Hudson, which gave way, in the 1990s, to Hudson Heights.
On June 15, 2010 the Fort Tryon Park celebrated its 75th anniversary with a fundraiser and fireworks display.
Parts of the Clint Eastwood film Coogan's Bluff (including the final chase scene) were filmed in Fort Tryon Park.