Green-Wood 2: Getting High On History

Empire State Building, Citigroup Center (and some of Downtown Brooklyn in foreground) from Green-Wood's Battle Hill

Last weekend I was the highest person in Brooklyn. At 200-220 feet    above sea level, depending on who you ask, Green-Wood Cemetery’s Battle Hill is the highest point in the County of Kings. Battle Hill takes its name from the Battle of Brooklyn, some of which was fought on its plateau.

It was a relatively clear day and I was able to take in some great views of both the Manhattan and Brooklyn skylines. The Statue of Liberty could be seen down in the harbor, in the direct line of sight of the waving statue of the Roman goddess Minerva.

The statue of Minerva commemorates the  Battle of Brooklyn. Fought in August of 1776 in locations scattered across modern-day Brooklyn, including this hill, it was the first major battle fought by the newly created United States.

This statue of Minerva commemorates the Battle of Brooklyn

Minerva waves to the Statue of Liberty

Recently the view of the Statue of Liberty from Battle Hill was  nearly lost forever. Community groups fought until the condo developer’s controversial architect produced a redesigned version that allows visitors to still get a glimpse of Lady Liberty.

Fought during the dawn of the industrial age in the early 1860’s, the Civil War tested the limits of the United States less than a hundred years after its founding. Located near Minerva on Battle Hill’s plateau is a monument dedicated to New Yorkers; both those who fought and survived, and those that died, in that bloody conflict.

Woolworth Building and Downtown Manhattan from Battle Hill


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Filed under Architecture, History

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