Grand Army Plaza, situated at the northern corner of Brooklyn's Prospect Park, is a captivating public square that offers a grand welcome to one of New York's most cherished green spaces. It's named in honor of the Union Army from the American Civil War, and the plaza's central feature, the Soldiers' and Sailors' Arch, stands as an impressive tribute to the Union's victory. The arch, erected in 1892, is a historical piece of architectural majesty that draws parallels to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
However, Grand Army Plaza isn't just a beautiful gateway — it's a bustling cultural hub reflecting the dynamic spirit of Brooklyn. The plaza is the stage for the Bailey Fountain, a stunning monument known for its intricate sculptures and vibrant water displays. Additionally, every Saturday, the plaza transforms into a lively farmers' market, showcasing the best of local produce and artisanal craft, a true testament to Brooklyn's thriving local economy.
Why visit Grand Army Plaza?
Experiencing architectural grandeur. A visit to Grand Army Plaza promises an immersive experience in architectural marvels. From the towering Soldiers' and Sailors' Arch to the stunning Bailey Fountain and the elegant Art Deco building of the Brooklyn Public Library, there's plenty to feast your eyes on.
Witnessing history. A stroll through the plaza offers a peek into the Civil War era and the rich history of Brooklyn. Each monument tells a story, making the plaza a must-visit for history enthusiasts.
Engaging with the community. The weekly farmers' market is a lively event that brings together people from all walks of life. It's a chance to enjoy the local produce, taste some artisanal delights, and interact with the local community.
Capturing memorable moments. With its historic landmarks and picturesque views, the plaza provides a perfect backdrop for photography enthusiasts. Capture the grandeur of the arch, the vibrancy of the farmers' market, or the serene beauty of the park.
Exploring Prospect Park. Grand Army Plaza is your entrance to Prospect Park. This expansive green space is perfect for walking, picnicking, birdwatching, and numerous other outdoor activities.
Immersing in cultural richness. As a gateway to many of Brooklyn's finest cultural institutions, the plaza invites you to a world of artistic and natural brilliance. The nearby Brooklyn Museum and Brooklyn Botanic Garden are treasure troves of culture and nature waiting to be explored.
Best places to visit near Grand Army Plaza
Brooklyn Museum. Located just steps from Grand Army Plaza, the Brooklyn Museum is the second-largest art museum in New York City. It houses a vast collection of artwork from various cultures and time periods.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Just a short walk from Grand Army Plaza, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a serene oasis with stunning gardens, a Japanese pond, a bonsai museum, and seasonal blooms that make it a perfect spot for nature enthusiasts.
Brooklyn Public Library. Situated near Grand Army Plaza, the library is a historic building that offers a vast collection of books, a beautiful reading room, and various events and exhibitions.
Prospect Park. This expansive park is adjacent to Grand Army Plaza and offers beautiful landscapes, walking trails, picnic areas, and recreational activities such as boating, horseback riding, and ice skating.
Prospect Park Zoo. Located within Prospect Park, this small and charming zoo is home to a variety of animals, including red pandas, sea lions, kangaroos, and meerkats. It's a great place to visit with children or animal lovers.
LeFrak Center at Lakeside. This recreational facility within Prospect Park offers ice skating in the winter and roller skating in the summer. It also has a café, bike rentals, and a splash pad, making it a fun place for outdoor activities.
Park Slope. This nearby neighborhood is known for its picturesque brownstone buildings, tree-lined streets, and trendy boutiques. It's a great place to explore, grab a bite to eat, or go shopping.
Barclays Center. A short distance from Grand Army Plaza, Barclays Center is a major sports and entertainment arena. It hosts various events, including NBA basketball games, concerts, and other performances.
Brooklyn Academy of Music. BAM is a renowned performing arts center that presents a diverse range of theater, dance, music, and film events. It's located a short distance from Grand Army Plaza and is worth checking out for its cultural offerings.
What are the most interesting and unique facts about Grand Army Plaza?
Several sculptures are scattered around the plaza, including statues of Civil War generals Gouverneur K. Warren and Henry Warner Slocum and the John F. Kennedy Monument.
The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch was designated a landmark in 1973. Three years later, in 1976, the Victory figure — a part of the crowning arch sculpture — fell from its chariot, underscoring the need to restore of this installation.