THOUGH NYC divested itself of most of its colonial-era “royal” names after defeating the British in the Revolutionary War, there are a few that doggedly hang on, sich as Prince Street in Soho, Kings Highway in Brooklyn, and Fort Tryon Park in upper Manhattan, which was named for British fort commemorating Sir William Tryon (1729-1788) , the last British governor of the colonies before the scurvy rebels kicked them out. The city took title to the property, which was in part owned by the former Cornelius Billings estate, in 1917, and the large (67 acres) park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. (son of the Central and Prospect Park developer) in 1935. There’s a good deal of highlights for even the most avowed non-naturalist such as your webmaster to enjoy here.
Fort Tryon Park is one of the two great parks of upper Manhattan island, the other being Inwood Hill Park (which still has caves where Native Americans resided, Manhattan’s last forest, and the spot where, according to many accounts, Peter Minuet “purchased” the island from the Lenape (since the Lenape did not follow the concept of personal property to be bought and sold, they were unaware they were even selling the land).
I reached Fort Tryon Park via Broadway and about Ellwood Street, and if you have ever climbed the steps and hills from Broadway up to the park promontory, you will agree with me that if you could do those steps every day, you’d quickly be back in fighting form. Unfortunately I don’t have the opportunity every day, and I both work and live on first floors.
My latest visit to Fort Tryon Park came on October 2021 and I have yet to use that batch of photos. As a sampler, here’s one of the great masonry arches that set the park apart from other parks (though Central Park boasts a few). In the offing I’ll have more from this park in Forgotten New York.
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