Parks And Cemeteries

One of the most attractive features of Brooklyn is Prospect Park, occupying about 516 acres of high ground in the west central part of the borough, on a site made memorable by the battle of Long Island. Its large variety of trees and shrubs, including oak, hickory, elm, maple, chestnut, birch, ash, cedar, pine, larch and sumach, its flower gardens, a palm house, ponds, a lake of 61 acres for boating, skating and curling, a parade ground of 40 acres for other athletic sports, a menagerie, and numerous pieces of statuary, are among its objects of interest or beauty. From the southern entrance to this park, Ocean Parkway, a fine boulevard, 210 ft. wide and planted with six rows of trees, extends 5½ m. south to Seaside Park (15 acres), on Brighton Beach, Coney Island. From the same entrance Fort Hamilton Parkway extends 4½ m. south-east to Fort Hamilton, and to Dyker Beach Park (144 acres) which face the lower end of the Narrows; and from Fort Hamilton, Shore Road and Bay Ridge Parkway extend north 4½ m. to Bay Ridge Park overlooking Upper New York Bay. From the northern entrance to Prospect Park, Eastern Parkway, another fine boulevard, 200 ft. wide, extends east 2½ m. to a point from which Rockaway Parkway runs 3 m. south-east to Canarsie Beach Park (40 acres), on Jamaica Bay; and extensions of Eastern Parkway run north-east through Highland Park (55 acres), to Brooklyn Forest Park (535 acres, on the border of the borough of Queens), abounding in beautiful trees and delightful views.

Half a mile east of the borough hall is Washington or Fort Greene Park (30 acres), laid out on the site of earthworks (known as Fort Greene) constructed during the War of Independence, and commanding good views.

Greenwood cemetery, one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the United States, ½ m. east of Prospect Park, occupies about 478 acres. Among the principal monuments are those erected to Roger Williams, S.F.B. Morse, Elias Howe, De Witt Clinton (colossal bronze statue by Henry Kirke Brown), Henry Ward Beecher, Peter Cooper, Horace Greeley, Henry Bergh, Henry George and James Gordon Bennett. At the main entrance is a beautiful gateway (of elaborately wrought brown stone), 142 ft. wide and having a central tower 100 ft. in height. Along the north-east border of the borough are Cypress Hills cemetery (400 acres), adjoining Brooklyn Forest Park, and the cemetery of the Evergreens (about 375 acres), adjoining Highland Park and partly in the borough of Queens.

In the plaza at the northern entrance to Prospect Park is a soldiers' and sailors' memorial arch (80 ft. in width and 71 ft. in height), adorned with high-reliefs of Lincoln and Grant on horseback (by O'Donovan and Eakins) and with three large bronze groups (by Frederick MacMonnies). Immediately within the park there is a statue (also by MacMonnies) of J.S.T. Stranahan (1808-1898), who did more than any other man for the development of Brooklyn's system of parks and boulevards. On the slope of Lookout Hill (185 ft.) within the park is a shaft erected in 1895 to the memory of the Maryland soldiers who valiantly defended the rear of the American army at the battle of Long Island. A bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln overlooks the lake. In Fort Greene Park is a monument to the memory of the soldiers who died in the British prison ships during the War of Independence, many of them having been buried in a vault below. Facing the borough hall is a statue in bronze (by J.Q.A. Ward) of Henry Ward Beecher, mounted on a granite pedestal with a figure at one side to commemorate Beecher's sympathy for the slave.

A fine bronze statue of Alexander Hamilton (by W.O. Partridge, b. 1861) stands at the entrance of the Hamilton Club in Clinton Street and one of U.S. Grant (also by Partridge) stands at the entrance of the Union League Club in Bedford Avenue.