PRESIDENT BUSH GIVES GOVERNORS ISLAND BACK TO NEW YORK
Governors Island, a 172-acre former military base in New York’s inner harbor, officially changed hands during a White House ceremony Friday morning, when President Bush returned the island “to the people of New York.”
Under terms of an agreement negotiated over eight years, New York will pay an undisclosed price for Governors Island, which the federal government has owned since 1800.
Unoccupied since the U.S. Coast Guard left in 1996, the island’s northern end has 22 acres — including two historic fortresses — that were designated as a national monument in 2001. Another 40 acres has been set aside as a state park.
Congress had pressed for the land, accessible only by ferry, to be sold at fair market value. After Friday’s handover, a new city-state agency under Randy A. Daniels, New York’s secretary of state, will manage Governors Island.