Fort Washington Park
Fort Washington Park runs along the Hudson River from the North end of Riverside Park at 155th Street, under the George Washington Bridge and up to Inwood Hill Park at Dyckman Street.
Fort Washington was a fort built during the Revolutionary War that was actually located a few block to the east of Fort Washington Park at the highest point in Manhattan in what is now Bennett Park.
The Little Red Lighthouse
The Little Red Lighthouse is located under the GWB on the Manhattan side. It was originally built in Sandy Hook, New Jersey in 1880 and was moved by the Coast Guard in 1921 to guide river traffic away from the shoals at Jeffrey's Hook. In 1942, the lighthouse became a legend when the children's book The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge was written by Hildegarde Swift. The lighthouse became obsolete when navigational lights were put on the bridge and the lighthouse officially decommissioned in 1948. As a result of popular appeals inspired by the book, the lighthouse was saved from the auction block and placed under the jurisdiction of the New York City Parks Department in 1951.
The best way to get down to the lighthouse is from the North side of the bridge...
4/16/2005 05:23 PM
From the 181st St. IND (A train) station walk west on 181st street as it becomes Lafeyette Plaza.
4/16/2005 05:25 PM
Walk down Riverside Drive and take the pedestrian overpass that crosses the Northbound Henry Hudson Parkway.
It is possible to get to the lighthouse from the south side of the bridge, but it requires jumping over barricades and walking amongst spooky folks that live under the overpasses.
The Fort Washington Link
The Fort Washington Link is a 13 acre park between 155th and 158th streets that connects Riverside Park and Fort Washington Park along the Hudson River. This area is landfill created during the West Side Improvement Project (1934-1937) with the dirt and rock that was excavated to create the underground rail line beneath Riverside Park. As commercial water traffic decreased through the years, four waterfront piers in this area were abandoned and the area served as a largely unimproved road salt truck refill area. The area was turned over to the Parks Department in 1989 and a 1997 allocation of two million dollars resulted in the 1999 project that converted the area to parkland opened in late 2000.
The park is also distinctive as a filter for runoff from the Henry Hudson Parkway. The Fort Washington Link design incorporates an underground trench running parallel to the edge of the highway. This trench catches rainwater from downspouts and directs it through layers of porous materials, beginning with a layer of rounded gravel and ending with activated charcoal. This filtering process removes pollution, particularly hydrocarbons and oils, and passes clean water into the river.