While the Harbor Defense Museum is actually situated on the grounds of the Fort Hamilton Army Base, it still is within the geographic area of Bay Ridge, near the foot of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.
The museum is housed in the Caponier, which is a free-standing bastion (Building 230) on the Sheridan Loop, and on the original fort’s dry moat. It was constructed between 1825 and 1831 and is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
The museum is now open to the public again, but thus far by appointment only. Visiting the museum, which is admission-free, gives you the opportunity to learn more about Fort Hamilton and the system of seacoast fortifications built to protect New York City. One of the highlights of its exhibits is the Battle of Brooklyn (a/k/a the Battle of Long Island). It also has a splendid collection of military artifacts from the American Revolution to World War II.
Museum hours are Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 718-630-4349 to make an appointment. Entrance to Fort Hamilton is via the main gate at Fort Hamilton Parkway and 101st Street.
The museum has developed comprehensive safety procedures for its staff and visitors, following guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control. Masks are required for all visitors on Department of Defense installations.
Justin Batt is the museum’s director and curator.