Must-See Fort Greene and Clinton Hill
by Caitlin Dover, 10/16/2013
Photo: Bob Handelman
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On bright summer days, it's a common sight to see families strolling by Pratt Institute's green lawns and rose gardens, toddlers in tow. The renowned art school's elegant turn-of-the-century buildings and graciously arranged grounds certainly lend themselves to an afternoon in the sun; a revolving, campus-wide display of some 60 sculptures by leading artists are an added attraction.
Opened for classes in 1887, Pratt Institute was founded by oil baron Charles Pratt to provide education and trade skills to people from all walks of life. Known today for its art and design programs and its architecture school, the institute has also become active in the realm of sustainable design, promoting green, socially responsible entrepreneurship through its Pratt Design Incubator program.
Pratt's enclosed campus, open to the public (with some restrictions), is a designated Historic District in its own right; its many architectural gems include the Romanesque Revival library and Memorial Hall. If you're lucky enough to be nearby on New Year's Eve, stop by Pratt for a unique celebration: each year, the college's chief engineer brings out vintage steam whistles (such as the one from the scrapped luxury liner SS Normandie) from his collection. Seeing the massive steam clouds blowing through the cold night air and hearing the whistles' penetrating sounds herald the New Year is an experience unlike any other.