Bay Ridge


bayridge yacht club brooklyn
Bay Ridge Yacht Club, early 1900s
Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection

From the (1939) WPA Guide to New York City:

Bay Ridge, extending from Sixty-seventh Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway to the Narrows, is a spacious and uncrowded residential district. Many Scandinavians including about ten thousand Danes make their homes here. In the late nineteenth century, Bay Ridge was one of Brooklyn's most exclusive suburbs and the Shore Road section still contains many homes of the wealthy. Shore Road, beginning at Owl's Head Park and skirting the westernmost point of Brooklyn, commands a magnificent view of the Narrows and the Upper New York Bay.

Owl's Head Park, Colonial Road and Wakeman Place, one hundred feet above Shore Road, was formerly part of the estate occupied by Henry C. Murphy, Democratic leader of Brooklyn and first editor of the Brooklyn Eagle. Here, in 1866, as State senator, he drafted the bill authorizing the building of Brooklyn Bridge.

The Dover Patrol Monument, at the west end of Fort Hamilton Park, is a granite obelisk designed by Sir Aston Webb and erected in 1931 to commemorate the participation of the U.S. Navy in the World War. Similar monuments have been erected at Cap Blanc Nez, France, and Dover, England. In front of the monument are several piles of Civil War cannon balls and to the west is a large muzzle-loading gun, marked "Fort Pitt, Pa., 1864."

St. John's Church (Episcopal), Ninety-ninth Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway, founded in 1834, is known as the "Church of the Generals" because it was attended by various military leaders from Fort Hamilton. Here General 'Stonewall" Jackson was baptized at the age of thirty, and General Robert E. Lee, then a captain, was a vestryman The stone and wood building dates from 1834.

Fort Hamilton, foot of Fort Hamilton Parkway, commands the Narrows, entrance to Upper New York Bay, together with Fort Wadsworth, Staten Island. (Visitors admitted.) Completed in 1831, it was known originally as the Narrows, but was later renamed in honor of Alexander Hamilton. The fort is the headquarters of the First Division, First Quartermaster Regiment, Band and First Battalion of the Eighteenth Infantry, and the Fifth Coast Artillery; also stationed here are detachments of the Medical Corps, Quartermaster Corps, Signal Corps, and other military units. About one thousand officers and men lead a typical army-post life here; the hundred dull stone, brick, and wooden buildings, standing on 155 acres of enclosed grounds, include barracks and a hospital. Besides the usual parade ground, the post has a fine polo field where games, open to the public, are played.

Fort Lafayette, the U.S. Naval Magazine, stands on a one-acre reef offshore opposite Fort Hamilton. The circular brick structure is used to Store munitions manufactured in Baldwin, Long Island. It was erected in 1822 and originally named Fort Diamond. During the Civil War the fort was used as a prison.

Dyker Beach Park, bounded by Seventh Avenue, Eighty-sixth Street, Fourteenth Avenue, and Gravesend Bay, attracts many golfers to its excellent course. Playgrounds, ball fields, and lawns make up the rest of the 242-acre park.

Fort Hamilton High School . . . . . .

subway tokenReturn to Brooklyn Home Page.

Copyright © 1995-2010 David Neal Miller. All rights reserved. For clarification and limited exceptions, see the Brooklyn Net copyright page. Last updated: December 26, 2010