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Castle Clinton, Statue of Liberty Are Most Popular US Monuments

Lady Liberty and Castle Clinton dominate national-monument rankings.

Reason No. 2,912 that Battery Park City rules: Turns out the two most popular national monuments in the entire United States are right in BPC’s backyard.

According to data collected by the National Park Service and revealed by the Chicago Tribune, Castle Clinton and the Statue of Liberty were the most popular national-monument destinations in 2009 — yes, even beating out that ridiculously gargantuan ball of twine in Cawker City, Kansas, which, upon further research (and a quick check of our common sense), isn’t a national monument after all.

Castle Clinton, which is located at the southernmost tip of Manhattan in Battery Park, recorded 4.08 million visitors last year to snag the No. 1 spot, barely edging out the 3.83 million that flocked to Lady Liberty and her newly reopened crown. Castle Clinton has served many purposes during its storied history — including defensive fort during the War of 1812, home to the New York Aquarium, and now a historical museum and ticket office for its main competition, the Statue of Liberty.

In the No. 3 spot is Hawaii’s World War II Valor in the Pacific, a memorial located in Honolulu that commemorates the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor and the sinking of the USS Arizona. The No. 4 spot goes to the Canyon de Chelly, which is comprised of Anasazi and Navajo ruins and sustains a community of Navajo to this day. And rounding out the top five is Florida’s Fort Matanzas — the colonial-era fort is located midway between Jacksonville and Daytona Beach and was the site of the Spanish massacre of French soldiers in 1565. Uplifting stuff!

Shockingly, not a single monument in Washington, D.C., made the top five — no Lincoln, no Washington, no Jefferson. Guess 2009 wasn’t a good year to be president.

About Tom

Tom is a writer and editor with a love of movies, books and all things Battery Park. He's also an avid runner with a soft spot for sunset runs on the Esplanade and sunset beers, well, pretty much anywhere.