The castle-like Park Slope Armory encompasses an entire city block in Brooklyn, bounded by 7th and 8th Avenue, and 14th and 15th Streets. Like many of the city’s armories, the armory has been reused from its original purpose as the headquarters for the 14th Regiment of the New York State militia, and now houses sports facilities run by the YMCA and the Park Slope Armory Women’s Shelter. But amidst the bustling activity within the building today, the Park Slope Armory reveals many fascinating secrets.
1. There’s An Abandoned Shooting Gallery Deep Below the Building
The militia of the 14th Regiment once used an extensive, multi-level shooting gallery below the building. The waiting room is an incredible sight to behold – green-tinged, tin walls and ceilings, with wraparound wooden benches. There was once a wooden railing in the space that is now located on the second floor of the armory, dividing the shelter from the rest of the building.
A narrow hallway from the waiting room leads down to the shooting galleries, which were housed in barrel-vault spaces. Staircases led down to half floors from which the targets would be raised from but portions of the floors have collapsed.
There were two galleries – one for short range hand guns and one for longer range shooting. The galleries are now pitch black, with the only light emerging from the hallways:
You can still see bullet holes in the metal at the end of the firing range:
The lower levels of the armory used to also contain horse stables, and possibly a bowling alley.