Two friends and I have decided to get more exercise by following walking tours from the book "Walking Brooklyn -- 30 tours exploring historical legacies, neighborhood culture, side streets and waterways" by Adrienne Onofri. Our first outing was to the historical Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn, an area that was not well known to us, but one we were curious to see.
One of the places the tour took us to was through the front gates of Pratt Institute, a private art college located at 200 Willoughby Avenue, in Brooklyn, New York. Pratt is one of the leading undergraduate art schools in the United States and offers programs in Architecture, Graphic Design, History of Art and Design, Industrial Design, Fashion Design, Jewelry Design, Illustration, Interior Design, Digital Arts, Creative Writing, Library and Information Science, and other areas.
It was founded and endowed in 1887 by Charles Pratt (1830–1891), who was an early pioneer of the natural oil industry in the United States. An advocate of education and the arts, Pratt is credited with recognizing the growing need for trained industrial workers.
The enclosed landscaped 25-acre campus contains many historic buildings, which include a library, an athletic center and student residential buildings.
The entire Brooklyn campus is home to the Pratt Sculpture Park, the largest in New York City, and has featured sculptures by such artists as Richard Serra, Donald Lipski, and Mark di Suvero. The Pratt Sculpture Park is curated by Professor David Weinrib and was recognized as one of the 10 best college and university campus art collections in the country by Public Art Review in 2006.
Some of the interesting sculptures we saw on the campus.
A full slide show of the sculptures can be seen on the Pratt Institute website on this link.
Buildings on campus include the Library, Dekalb Hall, ISC Building, Main Building, North Hall, East Building, Student Union, Memorial Hall, Machinery Building, Chemistry Building, Engineering Building, Pratt Studios, Steuben Hall, and the ARC building. Many of the building were built between 1885 and 1936, and are on National Register of Historic Places. The library at Pratt Institute, which was opened in 1888 to serve not only students but the general public as well, was the first free public library in Brooklyn.
Pratt boasts the oldest continuously operating, privately owned, steam-powered electrical-generating plant in the country. The facility's historic value was recognized by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and named a National Mechanical Engineering Landmark.
The generating plant is open for public viewing and was fascinating to see.
The Chief Engineer, Conrad Milster, was nice enough to explain all the history of the plant generator which was used for many years to generate electricity for the institute. The generators are no longer used for power, but they are still hooked up to the steam plant and every once in a while they are powered up to keep them functioning, in case they are needed.
Mr. Milster's office looked like a Norman Rockwell painting! My friends and I "oohed and aahed" over his antique roll top desk.
In fact, we were impressed with the museum quality of the entire building's artifacts that were on display.
Another fact I found charming about the engine room was that it is home to many of Pratt's legendary residential cats. Their photos, names and personality traits were listed on a poster on the wall, as well as some of their award ribbons which they won at cat shows, as you can see in the photo collage above.
One of artist Robert Indiana's iconic "LOVE" sculptures in Pratt Institute's sculpture garden.
I hope everyone had a lovely Valentine's Day today! I also want to thank everyone who gave me suggestions and tips about hair products in my prior post. I found them all very helpful. My "Ladles of Love" giveaway winner that was chosen by Random Generator today has been announced on the original post.on this link.
On my next post I'll continue the walking tour of Brooklyn's Clinton Hill neighborhood, so I hope you'll join me!
I'm linking this post to the following blog events:
"Outdoor Wednesday" blog event on Susan's blog A Southern Daydreamer."Alphabe Thursday" for the letter "M" on Jenny Matlock's blog, as Pratt Institute is very much a museum of art and architecture