6. Walt Whitman Had an Influence on the Creation of Fort Greene Park
Walt Whitman, who was editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle from 1846 to 1848, used his influence to help start the construction of a public green space in Brooklyn. More than just an editor, he also contributed 800 pieces for the paper, including poems, editorials and news stories. In one instance, Whitman argued for “a place of recreation… where, on hot summer evenings, and Sundays, they can spend a few grateful hours in the enjoyment of wholesome rest and fresh air.”
According to the landmarks designation report for the Fort Greene Historic District, Fort Greene Park, “begun in 1848…was largely the product of Brooklyn Daily Eagle editor, Walt Whitman –who for two years tenaciously kept the issue before the minds of the people of the city. Whitman had recognized and voiced the recreation needs of the growing populace of East Brooklyn where ‘the mechanics and artificers of our city, most do congregate.'”
5. There Was Once an Edward Snowden Statue in Fort Greene Park
Last year, artists Jeff Greenspan and Andrew Tider installed a statue of Edward Snowden on one of Fort Greene Park’s smaller pillars located near the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument. The statue was taken down the same day by New York City Department of Parks & Recreation officials and returned to Greenspan and Tider after their lawyers sued to get it back.
The NYPD fined Greenspan and Tider $50 for illegally trespassing in the park at night. The next day, Tider and Greenspan put a hologram of the statue in the same place. In 2016, the bust was shown as part of the Agitprop! exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum.