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27) Fort Tilden Becomes a Part of Gateway National Recreation Area - 1974

Updated: October 23, 2000

In 1974, several former military bases were transferred from the Department of Defense to the National Park Service. Military bases such as Floyd Bennett Field (NAS NY) in Brooklyn, Fort Hancock at Sandy Hook, New Jersey, Miller Field in Staten Island, and Fort Tilden in Rockaway became parts of the newly established Gateway National Recreation Area. The closing of Fort Tilden eliminated 145 military and 55 civilian jobs. Another 462 military and 91 civilian jobs were lost due to the closing of Fort Hancock in New Jersey (NY Times 2/5/74, page 78, column 3).

Fort Tilden's Nike missile launch area became an automotive maintenance facility and the Headquarters of the Breezy Point Unit (BPU) was established in the brick building in the Northeast corner of the post (Bldg 102). The BPU Headquarters later moved to its present location at Building 1.

Over the years, more and more of the temporary World War 2 buildings at Fort Tilden have been demolished due to their deteriorating condition. Many veterans returning to Fort Tilden hardly recognize the post today.

The Gateway National Recreation Area consisted of:
GNRA and USPP Headquaters at Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn, NY
The Breezy Point Unit at Fort Tilden and Jacob Riis Park, Rockaway, Queens, NY
The Jamaica Bay Unit at Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn, NY
The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge near Broad Channel, Queens, NY
The Staten Island Unit at Great Kills and Miller Field, Staten Island, NY
The Sandy Hook Unit at Fort Hancock, Sandy Hook, NJ

Former National Park service employees are invited to e-mail us and provided any stories or memories of the Park's initial days at Fort Tilden.

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