If you were standing here in 1812, you would be looking at the exterior wall of Fort Gibson, which was five and a half feet thick and sixteen feet high. What you see now are the remains of that wall's lower half. These remains, which continue seven feet into the ground, have been buried by the massive amounts of landfill that were used to expand Ellis Island.
The outer fort wall was supported by stone buttresses backed by mounded earth and a second wall. You can still see the remains of the buttresses of the second wall behind the first. Within the walls were barracks for soldiers and officers, a hot-shot furnace (used to heat iron shot, which could be fired from a cannon to set fire to targets), and storage buildings, including a powder magazine. The portion of the walls that has been uncovered represents approximately twenty-five percent of the entire Fort Gibson battery.