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 neighborhoods.

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 Clermont Armory.

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.

Prison Ship Martyrs' Monument

Walking 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.

Copyright 2009 IBEC