Eighty years is a long time to wait, so forgive us if we were a bit underwhelmed by our first glimpse inside the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument inside Fort Greene Park, which opened for the first time in decades this Sunday.
But that’s all right, given that the real treat was outside the 150-foot, McKim, Meade and White–designed monolith, which now sits amid a newly landscaped and tiled plaza at the zenith of the park.
“Isn’t it wonderful what the Parks Department has done here?” asked Ruth Goldstein, a member of the Fort Greene Association.
But for Goldstein, the present is only prologue: November will mark the centennial of the monument’s dedication (it was a big deal; President Taft was there!), and there’ll be a huge party to celebrate the occasion — including a look inside the crypt, where the remains of 8,000 of the 11,000 Americans who died on British prison ships during our Revolution, are kept.
The Fort Greene Park Conservancy is still looking for volunteers to make the Nov. 14–16 centennial a true blowout. If you’re interested, call Ruth Goldstein at (718) 596-0899.