Historical and cultural sights of Downtown Manhattan | Tunde Folawiyo

It’s little wonder so many people, including Tunde Folawiyo, love to visit New York; this city is awash with fascinating cultural and historical attractions. Downtown Manhattan is a particularly popular spot with visitors of the city; located on the south of the island, it serves as the centre of government and business for New York. Two of the most frequently-visited sites in this part of the borough are Battery Park and City Hall.

Tunde Folawiyo

Battery Park is a large public space which stretches out for about 25 acres. Established almost two centuries ago, it is now one of the borough’s most iconic landmarks. As it faces the harbour, it provides some spectacular views of the Hudson River and the ferries which cross over it.  Its gardens are also lovely to stroll around in, and are often the site of concerts during the summer months.

Whilst the beauty of this area is undeniable, it is the park’s incredible fort, rather than its general appearance, which attracts most people. Named Castle Clinton originally, this fort has been around since the War of 1812, and has been in existence for longer than the park which surrounds it.

After the war, this structure became the city’s property, and was given a new name – Castle Garden. Those who travel to New York frequently, like Tunde Folawiyo, might know that over the years, the fort served as a bar, a promenade, and most notably, a theatrical venue. Many people attribute the development of New York as the country’s theatre capital to this fort, in which hundreds of plays and musicals have been performed.

New York City Hall is another fascinating attraction found in Downtown Manhattan, and is likely to be of great interest to those who appreciate fine architecture. Built in the early 19th century, it is the USA’s oldest city hall, and was designed by John McComb and Joseph Francois Mangin. With its ornate details and elegant features, the exterior of this building is not unlike that of a French palace.

With a series of arched windows along the second floor, an open portico on the ground floor, and a stunning cupola at the top of its third floor, it’s an impressive sight to behold. Each of its windows is framed by pilasters and half-columns. Its interior is equally breathtaking, with its grand entrance leading to a beautiful marble staircase, which brings you up to the second floor, on which there stands a collection of fluted columns, in the style of the Corinthian Order.


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