5. Fort Greene Park
Brooklyn’s first public park, Fort Greene Park was first opened in 1848 with the name of Washington Park. Walt Whitman played no small role in this event. As the editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle (the most read newspaper in Brooklyn at the time), he used his editor’s pen to make appeals for the construction of a public green space in Brooklyn.
Redesigned in the 1860’s by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux (the same designers of Central Park and Prospect Park) this hilltop park is the cornerstone of the Brooklyn neighborhood that also bears its name. The park is also home to the Prison Ship Martyrs’ Monument, an 149 foot Doric column that commemorates the more than 11,000 American prisoners of war who died as captives aboard British ships during the American Revolution. The inside of the monument is opened up on rare occasions, and you can peer inside through our photographs here.