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“St. George is the gateway to Staten Island, the face we show to the world.” (James P. Molinaro; Staten Island’s 14th Borough President)
St. George, a neighborhood on the northeastern tip of Staten Island, is considered to be the downtown of the Island. As suggested by the term ‘downtown’, St. George is characteristic of Staten Island’s commercial and business area. Although it was developed only in the mid- 18th century, St. George now houses the Borough Hall, the Courthouse, the Police Precinct, the Chamber of Commerce and many other piers that serve as a major point in the New York Trade and Commerce Industry.
For our fieldwork, we visited our location on March 17, 2012. We first met up at the St. Peter’s Girls High School, which is now only a part of the history St. George. This high School came into existence in 1852. But in February 11, 2011, the NYCDOE announced that P.S 59 would open at this site. Therefore, the former high school was forced to close down in June 2011.
From that point, we began exploring our location by walking around, and visiting the different points of importance in St. George. We then visited the 9/11 Memorial, which is also known as the ‘Postcard’, because the two structures that make up this memorial are shaped like large postcards. Each Staten Island victim of the 9/11 attacks is honored with a granite plaque bearing their name, birthdate, and place of work on the day of the attacks.
Then we walked towards the Richmond County Ballpark (which was opened in 2001), and then the St. George Ferry terminal, which helped the location rise to its fame. This ferry terminal has been in existence since 1886; it was established by Erastus Wiman. This was the one most successful mode of transportation between Staten Island and Manhattan, in the 1800s. This success led to its prolonged existence, and its periodical transformations, which has been drawing many tourists annually.
We then visited the Staten Island Museum, which is Staten Island’s oldest cultural institution, and the only remaining general interest museum in NYC. This was followed by the Lt. Lia Playground, the Borough Hall, St. George Theater, and then the St. George Public Library.
We ended out field trip at the Everything Goes Book Cafè.