Posted on 11/20/2006

Photo taken on October  1, 2006

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View of the George Washington Bridge From Fort Tryon Park, Oct. 2006

View of the George Washington Bridge From Fort Tryon Park, Oct. 2006
Fort Tryon Park is a public park located in the Washington Heights neighborhood of the New York City borough of Manhattan, USA, 40°51.7′N 73°56′W. 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. It 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 Tapistries, The Cloisters incorporates several medieval buildings that were purchased in Europe, brought to the United States, and reassembled, often stone by stone.

The park was the 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. After the British won, the fortification was named after Sir William Tryon, the last British Governor of the New York colony.

Later it became the private residence of a succession of wealthy owners, including 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. The 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.

The 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 park are built on Inwood marble.

Abandoned by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation in the 1970s, Fort Tryon became a haven for the homeless, prostitutes, and drug dealers. In 1995, the New York Restoration Project, an organization founded by Bette Midler, took over the park, cleaning it up and returning it to its original glory.

Parts of the Clint Eastwood film Coogan's Bluff (including the final chase scene) were filmed in Fort Tryon Park.

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