5. The New York State Militia were once stationed in the Park Slope Armory

Exterior of the Park Slope Armory
The Park Slope Armory remains open today as a YMCA-operated sports complex and women’s homeless shelter.

Built between 1891 and 1895, the 14th Regiment Armory (now known as the Park Slope Armory) is located on Eighth Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets. Designed by William A. Mundell, the armory’s towering brick and stone castle like-structure was inspired by medieval European military structures. Originally, the armory was made to house the 14th Regiment of the New York State Militia, which was the United States’ most active state militia at the end of the 19th century. The armory remained in use by the 14th Regiment until 1992 when New York State’s Division of Military and Naval Affairs removed most of the military presence. A year later, the National Guard unit at the armory was fully relocated, but funding allocated by governor George Pataki kept the armory from closing.

Besides acting as a military base, the Park Slope Armory has also served as a crucial community-oriented organization. In March 1986, part of the armory became a 70-bed women’s homeless shelter, which remains in operation. In addition, it also houses a veterans’ museum and a YMCA-operated sports complex that opened in 2010. Visitors to Park Slope Armory today can still view many of its original features, including an abandoned shooting gallery and a stone from the Battle of Gettysburg.