The Clermont Armory is located near the eastern edge of
the Fort Greene Historic District in Brooklyn. The neighborhood is characterized
by quiet tree lined streets fronting beautiful 19th century brownstones
surrounding historic Fort Greene Park. Because of its unique qualities
and its proximity to Manhattan and downtown Brooklyn, Fort Greene is experiencing
a major renaissance, becoming one of New York City's fastest developing
Fort Greene prides itself as a community with great ethnic
diversity and many cultural resources, foremost of which is the Brooklyn
Academy of Music. The neighborhood has been, and still is, home to many
well-known artists, musicians and writers. In the vicinity of the Brooklyn
Academy of Music, a vibrant entertainment and night life district is developing.
Along Fulton Street, an alluring array of shops, restaurants and galleries
featuring African-American motifs has become a destination spot. Closer
to the Clermont Armory, trendy restaurants and cafes have opened along
Dekalb Avenue to welcome residents returning home from their subway commutes.
Myrtle Avenue, a more traditional neighborhood shopping strip (banks,
hardware, grocery stores, deli's, etc.) is around the corner from the
Fort Greene Park
Historic Fort Greene Park is located 2 blocks west of the Clermont Armory.
The park was established in 1847 as Brooklyn's first at the behest of
the celebrated poet and Fort Greene resident, Walt Whitman. Inaugurated
as Washington Park, the park was built on the site of Fort Greene (formerly
Fort Putnam) named in honor of General Nathaniel Greene from the revolutionary
War years. In 1867, the nationally renowned landscape architecture firm
of Olmsted and Vaux (of Central Park and Prospect Park fame) redesigned
the park in its present configuration. Their concept included a series
of shady walks overlooking grassy open spaces. President-elect William
Howard Taft dedicated the magnificent Prison Ship Martyrs' Monument in
the park in 1906. A majestic 100 ft wide granite stairway leading to a
free standing Doric column 150 ft tall, topped with an illuminated beacon,
this monument was designed by the prominent architect Stanford White.
The memorial contains a crypt holding the remains of more than 11,500
patriots who lost their lives during the Revolutionary War, while being
held prisoner on British ships in nearby Wallabout Bay.
along the graceful curving paths in Fort Greene Park, one can enjoy beautiful
scenery and hilltop views of the Manhattan skyline, or take in the spoken word
at readings from Walt Whitman. A poetry slam where musicians, poets, artists
and neighborhood residents performed in the park, was a successful event last
year. BAM and the City Parks Foundation sponsor a series of summer musical concerts
in the park. For the more athletic, tennis courts (added in the 1960's) are
available, as well as a playground for children.|