No, Fort Hamilton the Fort
Friday 11/24, Run # 87: Fort Hamilton, Dyker Heights
Distance: 9.12 miles
Weather: sunny & breezy
click on image for interactive map
Unique Miles Today: 5.13
Total Unique Miles: 679.86
Percent of Brooklyn Run: 39.02
For the complete route, click here
Notes: Is Fort Hamilton -- the actual military installation at the foot of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge -- even part of Brooklyn? I have no idea. I mean, it's an Army base, and the army's part of the US government, so presumably it's under federal jurisdiction and not technically part of Kings County at all, right? But then again, it's physically surrounded by Brooklyn, and its history is entwined with that of the borough. And the southern part of Bay Ridge is sometimes considered a sub-neighborhood called, surely enough, Fort Hamilton. So although it's a toss-up, I suppose, in the interest of completeness I decided to run it anyway (bet no one saw that coming!).
The facility itself is pleasant enough, and included what I assume are the usual army base staples (commissary, PX, post office, bowling alley), though it was pretty quiet and seemed almost deserted today, the day after Thanksgiving. The original stone fort overlooking the water now houses the Harbor Defense Museum, and the views of the bridge from the down there are fantastic. After I finished up at the fort, however, I ran up to the northern edges of Dyker Heights, hoping to fill in a few gaps I'd left along 7th Avenue, managing to hit them all, except one -- the block between 88th and 90th Streets, the stretch that was closest to the fort in the first place. Grrrr. Now I'll have to make a separate trip down there one of these days just to get that one block...
Anyway, a quick history of Fort Hamilton (cribbed mostly from various internet sources) for those who are interested in such things: The fort's military significance was apparent as early as 1776, when the original battery there fired on the British ship HMS Asia as it brought in troops to suppress the nascent American Revolution, but its importance grew after the War of 1812 and expanded during the nineteenth century (the actual stone fort was built in the 1820s). At various points, Robert E. Lee, Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, and erroneously reputed "inventor" of baseball Abner Doubleday were all officers assigned to the fort. Fort Hamilton now supports many of the area's Reserve and National Guard units, among other things.
I didn't get the chance to take many pictures today, but here are a few:
Building 216A, apparently
Tank on General Lee Avenue
Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, with the old fort in the foreground