WASHINGTON — After more than 200 years under federal control, Governors Island in New York Harbor was transferred to New York state Friday for $1.
Gov. George Pataki handed a dollar bill to President Bush at the White House to complete the deal for the island, which is between Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.
"Governors Island really can be and should be the crown jewel of New York Harbor," Pataki said.
The governor said the island would be used as a teacher training center as well as for recreational and cultural purposes.
"New York's stewardship of the island, combined with the National Park Service's management ... will lead to the development of an outstanding resource for the people of New York and all who visit," Bush said in a statement.
Under the plan, two Revolutionary War-era forts on the island will be opened to tourists.
"Governors Island will join the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island as a wonderful place for people to visit," said Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton, whose agency will oversee the forts.
Negotiations between the federal government and New York began eight years ago. In April, Bush agreed to the transfer and made it official Friday.
The federal government spends $6 million to $10 million a year to care for the island, and the cost of maintaining the island is expected to rise when it is opened to the public.