SUNY Maritime College is one of the unique institutions of higher education in the city, focused on training the next generation of leaders in global maritime transport. The school occupies a former military base that was built around Fort Schuyler, a 19th-century fortress that was key to the defense of New York City during the Civil War. The Fort is now the home of the Maritime Industry Museum, studying the long history of sea-based trade in New York City and around the world.
What You Will See
The museum hosts a massive collection of artifacts and maps relevant to maritime trade from the earliest Atlantic fishermen to mid-20th-century supertankers. While the exhibits are interesting and accessible even if you don't have an existing interest in ships and shipbuilding, the real treat is the access to Fort Schuyler. The history and purpose of the fort is featured heavily in the museum alongside the maritime artifacts.
Why You Should Go
This museum is a necessary stop on a harbor-ring tour of the 19th-century fortifications surrounding New York City. While this may be the least accessible of the many forts (at least by public transportation), it is also perhaps the best preserved its original state. Beyond the fort, the museum is an excellent reminder of how and why New York City has grown into the international center of industry that it has: maritime trade.