Located at the southern tip of Manhattan Island, Castle Clinton stands where New York City began, and represents not only the city’s growth, but the growth of a nation. Initially intended to prevent a British invasion in 1812, the fortification has transformed over the years to welcome theatergoers, immigrants, sightseers, and now, millions of visitors to New York Harbor. Castle Clinton stands approximately two blocks west of where Fort Amsterdam was built in 1626, when New York City was known by the Dutch name New Amsterdam. Construction began in 1808 and was completed in 1811. The fort, known as West Battery (sometimes Southwest Battery), was designed by architects John McComb, Jr. and Jonathan Williams. It was built on a small artificial island just off shore. West Battery was intended to complement the three-tiered Castle Williams on Governors Island, which was East Battery, to defend New York City from British forces in the tensions that marked the run-up to the War of 1812, but it never saw action in that or any war. Subsequent landfill expanded Battery Park, and the fort was incorporated into the mainland of Manhattan Island.