ELLIS ISLAND, STATEN AND GOVERNORS ISLAND, VERRAZANO STATUE.
Leaving the Aquarium we turn to the left and see the statue erected to Ericsson, the inventor of the Monitor, and the man who consigned all unarmored ships at once to the scrap heap by his wonderful idea. The Monitor undoubtedly saved New York from bombardment during the Civil War and Ericsson's fame is something of which New York is justly proud. No wholly wooden ships were ever built by the great navies of the world after the performance of the Monitor at Hampton Roads.
A little further along is a statue of Verrazzano, an Italian navigator, who visited New York Harbor in 1524, and next to it a steel flag pole to mark a similar pole standing near there when the British evacuated New York. They greased the pole but left the British flag flying. An American soldier, Van Arsdale, successfully climbed the pole and lowered the flag before the British departed and raised the Stars and Stripes in its place. On every Evacuation Day since, a descendant of this Van Arsdale hoists the American Flag on this pole at sunrise. The present pole is a steel mast belonging to the yacht Constitution, one of the preliminary defenders of America's Cup.
The large building on the left is the Barge Office or landing stage for immigrants from Ellis Island. The ferry boat for Ellis Island also leaves here, which makes an interesting side trip and affords an intimate glance of the process through which all immigrants must pass before reaching the "Melting Pot" proper. A short distance from the barge office is the ferry which takes you to the Statue of Liberty on Bedloe's Island. .On arrival at the island the visitor may ascend a staircase inside of the statue and look out upon the harbor of New York and the city from a point just below the head. Both of these trips are well worth the short time spent upon them.
State Street, facing the Battery, was in the early years of the last century perhaps the most fashionable and exclusive residential quarter of the city. Here lived the Livingstons, Gracies, Lenoxes, Rogers, Coles, Ludlows, Mortons, Suydams, and other prominent New York families. The building at No. 7, the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, is about the only one left in its original condition. There are a few others, but greatly altered. DIost of them will also soon disappear. It was a beautiful location, commanding superb marine views, combined with the green lawn and handsome shade trees of the park. The adjoining streets, Broadway, Greenwich and Washington, just off the Battery on the north, were also residences of well-to-do families. At one time Washington Irving lived at No. 16 Broadway, with his friend Henry Brevoort. He often strolled up to the corner of Cortland Street to visit the Widow Jane Renwick, whose son became afterwards a professor at Columbia College. His son in turn become one of the foremost architects in the city, chief among his works being St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue and the first of the Grand Central Stations—a marvel in its day.
The Municipal Ferry to Staten Island also leaves in this immediate neighborhood at the foot of Whitehall Street. This street was named for Stuyvesant's town house, "White Hall." Washington also departed from this point on his return to Annapolis (1783). Tablet marks the site. If you can afford an hour to make the run over and back, it is well worth the trouble. Boats leave every twenty minutes and you may return on the same ferry that takes you over. A good view of Governor's Island, Fort Lafayette, Fort Hamilton, Fort Schuyler and Castle William and the Narrows is thus enjoyed. Numerous outgoing and incoming steamers will be passed on the way. The famous Sailor's Snug Harbor may be visited while at the island, and a splendid view enjoyed of the Statute of Liberty on Bedloe's Island.
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