Gothamist LOVES the story about the wall from the 1700s, possibly the 1600s, (probably from Dutch colonial times!) being found as the MTA was trying to excavate for a new subway tunnel. The MTA now has to wait for for archaelogists to examine the wall and the area around it, to determine how old it might be, which means the expanded station for South Ferry may have to wait even longer. The wall is 40 feet by 7 feet, made out of mortared stone. A statement from City Hall says the wall may be part of a gun battery, which makes sense given that Castle Clinton is there - one needs to protect the coastline and all. Also found near the wall: Delft pottery, a coin from 1744, and pipe stems.
Now we want to read Russell Shorto's wonderful book about early New York, The Island at the Center of the World, all over again. And the media on the wall: The NY Times' "Found: Old Wall in New York, and It's Blocking the Subway" (which has interesting insight into the politics behind it); Newsday's "A 17th century finding; and the Daily News' "Subway dig unearths 300 year old wall". And the Battery Conservancy hopes the wall can be rebuilt in the park.
Photograph from the MTA