Battery Harris in Fort Tilden


IMG_1581Fort Tilden is located on the western end of the Rockaway Peninsula. Part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, the Fort is home to local artist galleries, baseball and soccer fields, and provides unfettered access to the ocean.

Also located on the campus two decommissioned Nike missile silos. Battery Harris East and Battery Harris West were constructed set up in 1922 with 16-inch guns in open mounts that rotated 360 degrees. Just prior to World War II, the mounts were encased to a 145 degree range facing the ocean. This was done to prevent the guns being turned on New York in the event they fell into enemy hands.

Both facilities later housed Nike air missiles, when the defense strategy focused on air attacks. With the advent of the ICBM, the Nike was made redundant in the 1970s and the Batterys were fully disarmed.

The site is now on the Federal Register of Historic Places, and can be reached by foot or bicycle from the main campus of Fort Tilden. Battery Harris East has an observation deck that offers stunning views of the ocean, the New York skyline and the Marine Parkway Bridge.