Fort Greene, Brooklyn, New York City
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Fort Greene is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. Fort Greene is listed on the New York State Registry and on the National Register of Historic Places, and is a New York City-designated Historic District. It is located in north west Brooklyn, above Prospect Park. The neighborhood is part of Brooklyn Community Board 2.
The neighborhood is named after an American Revolutionary War era fort that was built in 1776 under the supervision of General Nathanael Greene of Rhode Island (McCullough 2005). General Greene aided General George Washington during the Battle of Long Island in 1776. Fort Greene Park, originally called Washington Park and Brooklyn's first, is also derived from General Greene's name and the neighborhood. In 1864, Fort Greene park was redesigned by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux. The park notably includes the Prison Ship Martyrs' Monument and crypt, which honors some 11,500 patriots who died aboard British prison ships during the American War of Independence.
Fort Greene contains many superb examples of mid-19th Century Italianate and Eastlake architecture, most of which is well preserved. Fort Greene is known for its many graceful, tree-lined streets and elegant low-rise housing. Fort Greene is also home to the Williamsburgh Savings Bank, the tallest building in Brooklyn. The neighborhood is geographically desirable and close to the Atlantic Avenue train station, with access to most major subway lines. It is also home to several important cultural institutions like the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Music School, The Paul Robeson Theater, The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), UrbanGlass (www.urbanglass.org), 651 Arts performing center for African-American presenters, and Lafayette Church. Brooklyn Technical High School is one of New York City's most competitive public schools. The world renowned Pratt Institute, in neighboring Clinton Hill, is one of the leading art schools in the United States.
Fort Greene is roughly bounded by the Brooklyn Navy Yard/Nassau Street to the north, Flatbush Avenue to the west, Vanderbilt Avenue to the east and Atlantic Avenue to the south. Its main arteries are Fulton Street above St. Felix Street and DeKalb Avenue. The neighborhood is served by the New York City Subway at Dekalb Avenue (B Q), Dekalb Avenue (M N R), Atlantic Avenue-Pacific Street (D M N R); Atlantic Avenue (2 3 4 5); Atlantic Avenue (B Q); Flatbush Avenue (LIRR); or the A C train at Lafayette Avenue; and the G train at Fulton Street.
The late 1990s and early 2000s saw the influx of many new residents and businesses to Fort Greene. While issues of gentrification are raised, Fort Greene stands to many as one of the best examples of a truly racially and economically diverse neighborhood with what The New York Times referred to as a "prevailing sense of racial amity that intrigues sociologists and attracts middle-class residents from other parts of the city, many of whom are themselves sociologists."
The controversial Atlantic Yards project to build a stadium for and relocate the New Jersey Nets (which would become the Brooklyn Nets) along with a complex of large commercial and residential high-rises on the border of Fort Greene and Prospect Heights - the "Brooklyn Nets Arena" has garnered opposition from many neighborhood residents including Councilwoman Letitia James and author Jhumpa Lahiri.
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