Fort Greene - Big Apple Greeter

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Fort Greene - Big Apple Greeter
Big Apple Greeter welcomes you to New York City!
bigapplegreeter.org
The Big Apple Greeter Guide to
Fort Greene
dotted with brownstones and historically and culturally significant
places, Fort Greene has become a popular spot for visitors. Its old-time feel gives
the sense of what life was like in an elegant neighborhood in early 19th century
Brooklyn — yet, there is still much to attract a contemporary crowd.
text by deborah freeman.
graphic design by agnes schlenke.
photographs by paul katcher.
© 2012 Big Apple Greeter 03/2012
Big Apple Greeter
1 Centre Street
New York, NY 10007
Phone: 212-669-8159
Web: bigapplegreeter.org
to arrange a visit with a big apple greeter, please go to: bigapplegreeter.org
The Big Apple Greeter Guide to
Fort Greene
brownstones
fort green park
Where is Fort Greene?
Located in northwestern Brooklyn, Fort Greene is
bordered on the south by Atlantic Avenue, on the north by
Myrtle Avenue, on the west by Flatbush Avenue and on
the east by Vanderbilt Avenue.
Clinton-Washington Avenues. G train to ClintonWashington Avenues or Fulton Street.
greeter’s secret
About Fort Greene
Novelist Richard Wright
Peter Caesar Alberti, the first
wrote Native Son while
living at 175 Carlton
Italian settler in Brooklyn,
Avenue.
It is said that
operated a tobacco plantation
he did much of his
from 1639 in the area now
writing on a park bench
known as Fort Greene. Fort
in Fort Greene Park.
Greene is named for General
Nathanael Greene who supervised the construction of
Fort Putnam in 1776 on a hill that is now part of Fort
Greene Park. During the Battle of Long Island in the
American Revolution, the Continental Army surrendered
Fort Putnam and retreated to Manhattan. Fort Putnam
was repaired in anticipation of an expected attack on
Brooklyn by the British during the War of 1812; luckily
the attack never happened. During the 1840s a growing
number of free blacks settled in Fort Greene and found
skilled work at the nearby Brooklyn Navy Yard. Today,
Fort Greene has many blocks of beautifully preserved
brownstones as well as numerous cultural institutions.
In 1978, Fort Greene was designated an historic district.
by long island railroad: Atlantic Avenue Terminal
is the terminus for Long Island Railroad trains coming
into Brooklyn from Jamaica, Queens and Long Island.
To learn more, see the website at mta.info/mnr.
It’s Easy to Get to Fort Greene
by subway: B, D, N, Q, R, 2, 3, 4 or 5 trains
to Atlantic Avenue-Pacific Street. B, Q or R trains
to DeKalb Avenue. C train to Lafayette Avenue or
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by bus: Bus lines that service Fort Greene include the
B25, B26, B38, B41, B45, B52, B54, B67 and B69.
Attractions
1 fort greene park bounded by DeKalb Avenue,
St. Edward’s Street, Myrtle Avenue and Washington Park
was designated Brooklyn’s first park in 1847. Updated
by famed landscape architects Frederick Law Olmstead
and Calvert Vaux, the park features beautiful lawns,
arbors and walkways. There are also basketball and
tennis courts and
a playground
whose design
pays tribute to
the park’s
Revolutionary
War history. To
learn more, see
the website at
nycgovparks.
org/parks/Fort
GreenePark/
highlights/179. fort greene park
2 fort greene
The Big Apple Greeter Guide to
Fort Greene
hanson place church
williamsburgh savings bank
2 prison ship martyrs monument in the center
of Fort Greene Park is a tribute to the 11,500 men
and women who perished during captivity on prison
ships anchored in the East River during the American
Revolution. A memorial to these war dead was
commissioned to be built in the highest point in the
park and was designed by renowned architect Sanford
White. Its wide granite staircase and tall Doric column
are crowned by a bronze lantern. Its dedication in 1908
was attended by President-elect William Howard Taft.
To learn more, see the website at nycgovparks.org/
parks/FortGreenePark/monuments/1222.
3 The blocks that end at Fort Greene Park, especially
south oxford street and south portland avenue,
are some of the most architecturally beautiful blocks in
the city. South Oxford Street brownstones range from
the early 1850s to the end of the 19th century, while
South Portland Street houses
are primarily date from the
1860s. There are also
impressive mansions on
Washington Park, the street
that makes up the eastern
border of Fort Greene Park.
4 the williamsburgh
savings bank building at
1 Hanson Place at Ashland
Place was the tallest building
in Brooklyn for over 80 years
martyrs monument
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and was declared a landmark in 1977. Its clock tower
with four faces is a familiar sight in the Brooklyn
skykine. This beautiful Byzantine Romanesque style
building sports richly carved architectural details that
represent industry and commerce. To learn more, see
the website at forgotten-ny.com/2011/11/hansonplace/#comments.
5 lafayette avenue presbyterian church at 85
South Oxford Street at Lafayette Avenue was founded
in 1857 by the congregation of Reverend Theodore
Ledyard Cuyler, one of the most militant abolitionists of
that era. The church was part of the famed underground
railroad. The building features numerous Tiffany
windows, including one installed in 1920 which was the
last such window installed by the Tiffany firm. In the
1970s, local artist Hank Prussing was commissioned to
paint a giant mural around the church’s upper balcony.
The mural, entitled Mighty Cloud of Witnesses,
was based on photographs of local residents.
To learn more about this historic church, see
the website at lapcbrooklyn.org/index.php.
6 hanson place seventh-day adventist
church at 88 Hanson Place at South Portland
Avenue was built in 1860 just before the
beginning of the Civil War. It is a designated
New York City and National Historic landmark.
Its architecture reflects both Greek Revival and
the Italianate style. To learn more, see the
website at hansonplace.org/index.php.
3 fort greene
The Big Apple Greeter Guide to
Fort Greene
the smoke joint
Shopping
greenlight bookstore at 686 Fulton Street at
7 South Portland Avenue is an independent store
with an excellent selection of books by local authors and
a large comfortable space with children’s books and toys.
They also offer readings. To learn more, see the website
at greenlightbookstore.com.
yu interiors at 15 Greene Avenue near Cumberland
8 Street offers a thoughtful selections of home
accessories and furniture. To learn more, see the website
at yuinteriors.com.
Fort Greene is dotted with small clothing stores
9 offering original designs. For something truly
different, visit the brooklyn flea, the weekend flea
market that features hundreds of vendors of vintage
clothing and furniture, collectibles and antiques, as well
as new jewelry and arts and crafts by local artisans and
designers. In the winter, the Flea is located within the
Williamsburg Savings Bank Building. In the summer, it
moves to an outdoor space on Lafayette Avenue near
Vanderbilt Avenue. To learn more about times and dates,
see the website at brooklynflea.com.
cake man raven at 708 Fulton
10 Street near South Portland
Avenue is renowned for its red velvet
cake and other Southern specialties.
To learn more, see the website at
cakemanraven.com.
When It’s Time to Eat
ici at 246 DeKalb Avenue at Vanderbilt Avenue
11 features fresh local ingredients with a French
touch. The menu is seasonal and there is a
lovely garden in the back. To learn more, see the website
at icirestaurant.com.
the smoke joint at 87 South Elliott Place
12 between Lafayette Avenue and Fulton Street
offers casual dining featuring their own smoked
barbecued ribs, as well as chicken and seafood. To learn
more, see the website at thesmokejoint.com.
deniz at 662 Fulton Street at South Elliott
13 Place has a menu of Turkish delights including
shish kebobs and homemade humus. And leave
room for the baklava. To learn more, see the website at
deniznyc.com.
aqualis grill at 773 Fulton Street near South
Oxford Street offers some of the freshest
14
seafood in the area. The restaurant is known for
both its traditional and eclectic menu offerings and its
décor which draws on local antiques.
greeter’s secret
At the corner of
Lafayette and Vanderbilt
Avenues is a beautifully
maintained Greek Revival
clapboard house that
was built in 1812.
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greenlight bookstore
bittersweet at 180 DeKalb Avenue
near Carlton Avenue is a popular local
15
coffeehouse that features light meals,
baked goods and home-made ice cream along
with free wireless access. Vegan specialties
are also available.
4 fort greene
The Big Apple Greeter Guide to
Fort Greene
brooklyn academy of music
african arts
Culture
the brooklyn academy of music (bam) at 30 Lafayette Street
16
between Ashland Place and St. Felix Street was dedicated in 1908 and the
gala night opening featured the opera Faust with Enrico Caruso in the title
role. BAM remains a major artistic center with extensive offerings in opera,
theatre, dance and cinema. There is even a BAMcafé on the premises which
features live musical entertainment while you dine. In 1978, the building
was given landmark status. To learn more, see the website at bam.org.
17
the bam harvey theater at 651 Fulton Street at Rockwell Place
still sports its original signage identifying it as the Majestic Theater.
A traditional playhouse that featured Shakespearean revivals, vaudeville
reviews and musicals, it was converted to a movie
greeter’s secret
theater in 1942. Revived as a house of legitimate
A good source
theater in 1987, the BAM Harvey Theater offers
of information about
both classic and groundbreaking works. To learn
Fort Greene is the
Myrtle
Avenue Brooklyn
more, see the website at bam.org.
Partnership. Information
about dining, shopping,
events and locations
may be found at
myrtleavenue.org
18 the brooklyn music school at 126 St. Felix
Street between Lafayette Street and Hanson Place
was founded in 1912 and serves as a community
school for the arts. Professional performances are
also available to the public. To learn more about this historic place and for
a performance schedule, see the website at brooklynmusicschool.org.
19 museum of contemporary african diasporan arts (mocada)
at 80 Hanson Place at South Portland Avenue was founded in 1999 and is
dedicated to fostering a greater awareness and appreciation of the arts and
cultures of the African Diaspora. In addition to works of art, MoCADA also
offers a film festival and live performances. To learn more, see the website
at mocada.org.
bigapplegreeter.org
5 fort greene
About Big Apple Greeter
Founded in 1992, Big Apple Greeter’s mission is to
enhance New York City’s worldwide image while
enriching the city experience for its visitors.
Connecting with business and leisure travelers from
all over the US and the world, Greeters take visitors
on informal, unscripted walks through one or more
neighborhoods in any of the five boroughs, promote
tourism throughout the city, and help visitors
discover the ease of using public transportation.
Over 300 volunteer Greeters speak collectively
almost 25 languages and enjoy giving their time and
energy back to their hometown. Since its founding,
Big Apple Greeter — a free public service — has
welcomed nearly 100,000 visitors and been featured
in thousands of newspapers, magazines, and television and radio programs all over the world, reaching
an audience of over one billion potential visitors to
New York City. Big Apple Greeter is proud to partner
with NYC & Company, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Make-A-Wish Foundation®
of Metro New York.
Big Apple Greeter is a proud member
of the Global Greeter Network,
operating on five continents,
including North America, South
America, Australia, Europe and Asia. Click on the link
to find a Greeter program where you are traveling
next: globalgreeternetwork.info/
You may learn more about Big Apple Greeter and
its many services on our website:
bigapplegreeter.org or by emailing us at
[email protected]
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© 2012 Big Apple Greeter 03/2012
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