Fort Hamilton community is in close proximity to its landmark Fort Hamilton, a military reservation built around, a gray granite fort named after Alexander Hamilton and built between 1825-1831 to protect New York Harbor from invasion by sea. It was on this site in 1776 that British and Hessian troops outflanked and defeated Washington’s army in the Battle of Long Island.
Today, the Fort Hamilton military base is the only active Army post in the metropolitan area. The Fort itself serves as an officers’ club and the smaller fort or “coponier” which extends outward from the back and was built in 1829 to protect the rear, is fully restored and houses the Harbor Defense Museum. The Museum offers tours and exhibits which tell the story of the generations of artillery that protected the harbor.
Within walking distance of the Fort is the now closed St. John’s Episcopal Church (99th Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway) also known as the “Church of the Generals.” Among the military men who have knelt at its’ altar are Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.
The Verrazzano Narrows Bridge opened in 1964, honors Giovanni deVerrazzano, who in 1524 explored the entrance to New York Harbor and sailed into the stretch of water known today as the Narrows. The Bridge, which was the dream of Robert Moses, then head of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, was at its completion the world’s longest suspension bridge.
Excerpts taken from The Brooklyn Neighborhood Book Published by The Fund for the Borough of Brooklyn, Inc., 1985.