The oldest building in Central Park, the Blockhouse was constructed far before the Park even existed. The stone structure was one of several built to defend New York from the British during the War of 1812.

After the British attacked Stonington, Connecticut in August 1814, New Yorkers became fearful of a similar attack from the north. They quickly sprang into action and constructed defensive forts overlooking the lower lands of Harlem in that same year. The British never came to New York, and the forts never saw battle. Most of them were taken down; the Blockhouse was the only one to survive. After the war, military features like its sunken wooden roof and mobile cannon were removed.

About 40 years later, Park co-designers Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted left the fort as a picturesque ruin covered in vines.


North Woods

West Side at 101st-110th Streets

110th Street Bridge

West Side at 110th Street


West Side at 109th Street

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