Fort Laight

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Fort Laight (1814-1815) - A War of 1812 Fort established in 1814 in New York City, New York. Named Fort Laight after militia Lieutenant Colonel Edward W. Laight, Commander, 85th New York Militia. Abandoned as a fortification in 1815 at the end of the war.

History of Fort Laight

Fortifications at Morningside Heights 1814

Established as an American defense of New York City in the summer and fall of 1814 during the War of 1812. Built as a two gun stone battery 50' wide 60' long at the Manhattenville Pass along the Blomingdale Road. The fort anchored a defense that stretched from the fort, northwest across the Bloomingdale Road at the Manhattenville Pass to the bluffs overlooking the river. A redoubt northeast of the fort provided some protection from that quarter.

New York City Fortifications 1814 (click twice for full resolution)

This fortification was one of a line running diagonally across the northern end of Manhattan Island from Fort Laight in the north to the Halletts Point Tower in the south. Included in the line from north to south were Fort Laight, NYC Blockhouse No. 3, NYC Blockhouse No. 2, NYC Blockhouse No. 1, Fort Fish, Fort Clinton (4), Mill Rock Fort, Fort Stevens (5) and the Halletts Point Tower. These fortifications were located on line of bluffs in the north that overlooked the landside approaches and the major roads into New York City. The southern end of the line guarded McGowans Pass along the Old Post Road and the back door water approach to New York City via a treacherous stretch of water known as Hell Gate.

In addition to these major fortifications, a number of gun batteries and smaller redoubts were located at strategic points to reinforce and protect specific areas. Often these fortifications were connected by earth works and trenches.

Abandoned as a fortification in 1815 at the end of the war.

Current Status

No remains, overbuilt.


Location: 549 W 123rd St, New York City, New York County, New York.

Maps & Images

Lat: 40.81221 Long: -73.95961

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