Staten Island Northeast Coastline Museums
Starting at Fort Wadsworth, drive your way along the shoreline of Staten Island to three more museums, and end at a park on the interior of the island.
On the west shores of the New York Harbor Narrows, Fort Wadsworth occupies 226 acres on the northern shore of Staten Island. It has guarded the entrance to New York for over 200 years with the distinction of being the fort with the longest continuous military history in the country. The fort has been through many renovations as technology improves. It is now well known for its magnificent views of the New York Harbor.
This establishment was the house of Alice Austen, but is now a museum that is part of the Historic House Trust. The house sits in a beautiful park that boasts a panoramic view that stretches from the Statue of Liberty and Lower Manhattan to Brooklyn and, on a clear day, Coney Island. The museum includes a permanent exhibition of Alice Austen's work, changing exhibitions of contemporary art, and period rooms. There is also a beautiful Victorian Garden at the museum. This is one of the best views in and of New York City. Staffs and volunteers are always happy to give private tours of the museum.
Newly opened in 2015, the National Lighthouse Museum is dedicated to preserving the navigational history of lighthouses. It is located next to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal on what was once the United States Lighthouse Service general service depot, which, at its peak was the country's main operations and technology center. The museum was established to educate the public about the history of lighthouses which, thanks to modern technologies, are becoming more and more obsolete. The museum offers lighthouses tours, symposiums, lectures, and other events throughout the year.
Founded in 1881, the Staten Island Museum, which is in two locations—one is in St. George and the other in Snug Harbor—is the only general interest museum in New York City. Its areas of focus are the natural science, art, and history of Staten Island and the region. Its collections reflect these areas. The natural science collection features over half a million specimens. The art collection features works from all over the world, with an emphasis on Staten Island related art. The museum also houses a library and archives which hold thousands of books and other materials related to the island.
In 1920, this plot of land was donated to the City of New York and named Hero Park, in honor of the 144 Staten Island men who were killed in the Great War. Sugar Loaf Rock, the most prominent feature located towards the center of the park, has been adorned with several plaques (pictured below) which honor the men by name and further emphasize the Staten Island heritage of these brave men.