An official Path Through History Site! Fort Totten was conceived as a Civil War era military installation to defend the eastern approach to New York Harbor via the East River. Although the original stone battery was never completed, the fort continued to be improved and remained an active army base until it closed in the 1970s. Fort Totten is now a city park, offering recreational activities and tours of the historic fort. The Bayside Historical Society manages the former Fort Totten Officers` Club, hosting exhibitions, programs, and events.