“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Queens in Queens County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Fort Totten Park

59.5 acres

Fort Totten Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, May 5, 2013
1. Fort Totten Park Marker
Several markers identical to this one are located inside Fort Totten.
† † † This park takes its name from the Civil War era fortress on the property. Originally referred to by its location on Willets Point, the Army officially named it for General Joseph Totten (1788-1864), following his demise in the Battle of the Wilderness, in Virginia.

† † † Although Robert E. Lee, it is believed, prepared the fortís plans in 1857, construction did not begin until 1862. Built at the mouth of the Long Island Sound, across from its counterpart Fort Schuyler, the addition of Fort Totten created a pinch point meant to protect the eastern approach to the New York harbor. Soon after its completion, however, the fort became obsolete as a defensive structure, due to rapid advances made in artillery during the Civil War. Fort Totten then served primarily for casualty support and hospital care. From 1865 to 1901 the fort housed the Engineer School of Application. In the 20h century, the fort housed the Eastern Artillery District Headquarters (ca. 1901), the Electric Mines and Army School of Submarine Defense (1921), a prototype anti-aircraft installation (1922), and the Anti-Aircraft Artillery Headquarters (1941-1944). During the Cold War, Fort Totten was 1st Region ARADCOM for the Nike Missile Defense System (1954), and since 1969 has been home to the 77th RRC of the U.S. Army Reserves.

Fort Totten Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, May 5, 2013
2. Fort Totten Park Marker
† † † Two decades of community lobbying for a new Bayside area park led to the Department of Defense giving New York City Parks & Recreation a 10-acre parcel of land along the Cross Island Parkway, between Totten and 15th Roads in 1987. In 2002, the New York City Fire Department, which has operated training facilities here since the 1980s, received a 39.2-acre parcel from the U.S. Department of Education. Two years later, the National Park Service (NPS), through two different Public Benefit Conveyance Grant Programs, gave Parks & Recreation an additional 49.5 acres of land. The open space parcel, which totals 39.5 acres and includes the historic battery, was acquired through the NPS Federal Lands to Parks conveyance program. The historic buildings, which occupy 10 acres, were acquired through the Historic Surplus Property Program.

† † † On May 30, 2005, Parks & Recreation officially opened Fort Totten Park as a public facility for the people of New York City.
Erected by City of New York Parks & Recreation.
Location. 40° 47.46′ N, 73° 46.88′ W. Marker is in Queens, New York, in Queens County. Marker is on Totten Avenue, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is located at the entrance to Fort Totten Park. Marker is in this post office area: Bayside NY 11359, United States of America.
Other nearby markers.
Marker at Fort Totten image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, May 5, 2013
3. Marker at Fort Totten
The entrance to Fort Totten can be seen beyond the marker.
At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Main Magazine of Fort Totten (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named Fort Totten Park (approx. 0.4 miles away); Flushing Civil War Monument (approx. 3.2 miles away); Quaker Meeting House (approx. 3.2 miles away); Friends Meeting House (approx. 3.2 miles away); William A. Shea Municipal Stadium (approx. 4.2 miles away but has been reported missing); Unisphere (approx. 4.5 miles away); The Exedra (approx. 4.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Queens.
More about this marker. The right side of the marker contains a map of Fort Totten Park. The location of the marker is indicated on the map, along with locations and photos of sights including: 1. Entrance to Fort Totten; 2. Gravestone of Charles Willets; 3. Interior View of Historic Battery; 4. Exterior View of Historic Battery; 5. Waterfront Esplanade along Shore Road; 6. Gazebo; 7. Swimming Pool; 8. Commanding Officers House – Building 622; 9. Chapel; 10. Building 208 “The Castle” Bayside Historical Society; 11. Building 203 Parks Headquarters.
A list of park rules and regulations appears at the upper left of the marker.
Categories. Forts, CastlesWar, ColdWar, US Civil
Fort Totten Water Battery image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, May 5, 2013
4. Fort Totten Water Battery
Inside the Fort Totten Battery image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, May 5, 2013
5. Inside the Fort Totten Battery
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 533 times since then and 116 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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