Davids Island/Fort Slocum

Projects were conducted in support of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) authorization to perform building demolition, debris removal, and remediation of asbestos materials at Fort Slocum. 

The long-range goal was the environmental restoration of the 80-acre Davids Island for subsequent use by the City of New Rochelle as a public park.

Davids Island served as a U.S. Army installation for nearly a century, functioning as a major recruiting center and part of the defensive ring established to protect New York Harbor from attack in the late 19th and early 20th century.  In 1955, the Fort Slocum Nike Battery (NY-15) was one of the first missile installations activated within the New York Nike Ajax defense system. The base was abandoned in the early 1960s.

Process

PAL conducted several investigations to assist the USACE in complying with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, including:

  • historic architectural survey that resulted in a recommendation that remnants of the installation, despite their extreme state of deterioration, comprise a National Register eligible historic district
  • historical photographic and written documentation of the Fort’s freight and passenger piers
  • inventory of salvageable architectural features and elements for possible transfer to museums and historical organizations
  • preservation-in-place study that explored the feasibility of preserving certain buildings prepared in association with Robinson Green Barretta architects.

Results

While funding for the preservation of the buildings could not be secured and all were ultimately razed, many of the landscape features and several structures identified by PAL, including World War I-era gun battery emplacements, the parade, system of roads, and seawall have been preserved in the plans to rehabilitate the island for public enjoyment.

Client Name: 
United States Army Corps of Engineers
Project Name: 
Davids Island (Fort Slocum)
Project Date: 
2004 to 2006
Project Location: 
New Rochelle, New York