One of the most in-demand boroughs in Brooklyn, Fort Greene is a culturally and ethnically diverse neighborhood. It is ideally located a stone’s throw from Manhattan and is bordered by Clinton Hill to the east, Boerum Hill and Cobble Hill to the west, Prospect Heights to the south, and Dumbo to the north.
The leafy suburb is blessed with a vast and luxuriant historic park. It has wide tree-lined streets and oozes a community vibe. In fact, residents often refer to life in Fort Greene as being magical.
But Fort Greene’s appeal has multiple aspects. In addition to providing its residents with a green oasis amid the city and a laid-back atmosphere, it’s also rich in history, architecture, and arts. One of the oldest Brooklyn neighborhoods, the suburb is notable for its many mid-19th century Greek and Italian-style homes.
So, the historic landmarks and beautiful brownstone row heritage houses will delight history and arts buffs. Besides, no longer a Manhattan luxury, the area also features top-notch cultural and entertainment facilities such as the Brooklyn Academy of Music or the Barclays Center.
Fort Greene has some of the most beautiful housing stock in Brooklyn while providing convenience in a relaxed atmosphere.
From its earliest development, Fort Greene saw two different types of community settling. Elites built sophisticated houses south of the Park while the working class was settling in the neighborhood’s northern side.
Fort Greene Park always played a central part of this neighborhood. First called Washington Park, the city of Brooklyn re-designed the site for use as a public park in the 1840s.
In the center of the park lies The Prison Ship Martyrs’ Monument in honor of the American soldiers captured by British ships during the American Revolutionary War. Its underlying crypt is home to some of them.
Fort Greene’s history is also notable for its abolitionist movement before the civil war. Indeed, the history of African Americans in Fort Greene dates back to the neighborhood’s earliest founding. The first ‘’colored school” (founded in 1827) appealed to professionals, teachers, and administrators who formed the core of the first African American middle-class of Fort Greene. At the same time, hotels and theaters were built, and Fort Greene rapidly became the heart of Brooklyn.
In the early ’80s, a large African American creative class moved to the area. One of the biggest artists at the time was Spike Lee, who set up his film company in 1986.
A wave of artists continued to settle in Fort Greene, and the area quickly became a trendy spot for creative minds, hence being a major art stronghold in NYC. The numerous revitalization projects and the recent luxury developments have led to the suburb’s gentrification, attracting a melting pot of culture.
Arts, Culture and Lifestyle
The community’s diversity is evident, with tons of casual and more upmarket restaurants offering cuisines from all around the world. Trendy watering holes and indie shops also line DeKalb and Myrtle avenues.
On the weekend, after riding your bike or doing a good workout in Fort Greene Park, relax and read a book in the 30-acre verdant oasis.
Then head to Brooklyn Flea’s seasonal market to browse vintage and antique items and enjoy some amazing food from one of the many food stands.
End the perfect day by attending one of the unique art performances or sports events at the nearby Barclays Center. If you’re more into music, enjoy one of the spectacular shows at The Brooklyn Academy of Music.
The lush and vibrant suburb is the perfect location for arts and culture enthusiasts.
If you’re into architecture, you’ll love Fort Greene, and its brownstone row houses. They’ve been built in a variety of styles, including Second Empire, Neo-Grec, and Renaissance.
One of the best walks to admire these beautiful homes is located between the Pratt Institute Sculpture Park and Fort Greene Park. Featuring a unique collection of arts, the Pratt Institute Sculpture Garden is the largest in New York and is a popular stop for art lovers.
Some other prominent art and cultural venues include the theater for a New Audience and the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts.
Fort Greene has plenty of transit options. Indeed, the residents can benefit from the numerous subway lines and public bus stops to travel around Brooklyn, Manhattan, or Queens.
The neighborhood also offers an easy commute to Manhattan (30 min by train to Wall Street and 14 minutes by car). Besides, Long Island Rail Road trains are now connecting Fort Greene (Atlantic Terminal) to the rest of the city.
The blocks that border Fort Greene Park are some of the most in-demand real estate blocks in the city.
However, while brownstone houses are still trendy, the area has recently welcomed new buildings with luxury apartments and incredible amenities, such as Brooklyn Point or City Point, providing the neighborhood with hundreds of new units.
The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Fort Greene is currently $2,500, but you can expect to spend over $3,000 for a brownstone house. The median sale price for a home in Fort Greene is $895k, with prices ranging from $499K to $4.5 million.
The numerous revitalization projects, including the $5 million upgrade of Fort Greene Park, have led to the neighborhood’s gentrification and, therefore, a rise in demand and pricing. Yet, beautiful heritage homes, an expansive verdant park, combined with an easy commute and top-notch amenities, make Fort Greene one of the most livable suburbs in New York.