Raising the Roofs

The back entrance to Green-Wood, on Fort Hamilton Parkway, just doesn’t get the respect it deserves. Admittedly, it is not a spectacular as the brownstone Arches at the main entrance to Green-Wood, Fifth Avenue and 25th Street, described by Robert A. M. Stern, dean of Yale’s School of Architecture, as the finest example of High Victorian design in America. But the Fort Hamilton entrance does have great virtue, much of it little known. Designed by Richard Mitchell Upjohn, who worked with his father Richard Upjohn on the Arches, that entrance has a wonderful brownstone Visitors’ Lounge and, across the entrance road, a residence. They are both of brownstone, like the Arches. Next time you are over in this area, take a look at the wonderful floor tiles in the Visitors’ Lounge and the Ages of Man, by sculptor John Moffatt, that adorn the outside of the building.

The above drawing appeared in the American Architect and Building News of August 3, 1878. This wonderful print, in our Historic Fund Collections, shows both of these buildings; the residence is in the foreground, the Visitors’ Lounge in the background.

Both of these buildings are surrounded by scaffolding as I write this. What is likely the original slate roof of both is being replaced, after more than a century of use, by new slate. That project should be completed shortly.

Below are two photographs of these buildings, half stereoviews from our Green-Wood Historic Fund Collections. The first one, taken from across Fort Hamilton Parkway, shows both of the buildings, circa 1880. The second one, taken from inside the cemetery, shows the residence there, also circa 1880.

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