Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Walking Brooklyn -- Pratt Institute



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


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71 comments:

The Gathering Place said...

You make me want to explore my own city and some of the places I have only heard of. Maybe I need to get walking.....Great idea to get exercise and discover at the same time.

Carol said...

I didn't realize what a fabulous campus Pratt has, I didn't even know where it was. Super post, Pat, enjoyed the visit. Love the LOVE sculpture :)

Ginny said...

All the sculptures are fantastic!!! I would travel quite aways to see just one of them! My favorite part of the generating plant is that pretty chandelier, what an oxymoron!!! A beautiful post today!

Linda Chapman said...

I get to see so much of this country through YOU!! Thanks for the tour. And happy Vaelntine's day! You are a real sweetheart!!

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

Of course, I've heard of Pratt Institute, but knew nothing about the beautiful and historic campus. Thanks for the tour.

Sarah said...

Pat, what a fun way to get more exercise. And we get to see more wonderful images of your walk. Thanks! ~ Sarah

Riet said...

What a great idea to go walking with your friends for exercise and see so much of your city. And it isv wonderful to be walking with you and see it too. What beautiful sculptures there are here. Wonderful.
Have a nice day.

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Sounds like that book is perfect for you Pat! The grounds are so pretty, it looks like a wonderful school:@)

betsy said...

There are times when I wish my parents had stayed in Brooklyn and let me grow up there!

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

I loved my tour this morning. How lucky all the students who attend Pratt are. To be surround with such amazing sculptures as they walk through campus is such a gift.

Edie Marie's Attic said...

What a cool thing to be doing Pat! Love all the sights you get to appreciate along the route. Hope one takes you by the place where the FABULOUS cannolis came from. I can still taste it... best I've EVER had!! no kidding

Blessings & hugs, Sherry

Old Kitty said...

I love that big head!! I did try to read the plaque but couldn't and went over to the slide show but although there it is in all its glory - not much else is said about it! It's amazing - I love it!! It's a big head and she looks rather annoyed we're looking at her! I like her!

I love that it's an odd mix of public art and space with added library but it's a private college!

Take care
x

podso said...

That's great that you are taking the time to both get exercise and intentionally explore your city. I'm sure we will be in for a treat as you share it with us!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

That is so interesting. I love how they have kept the generators ready for use.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Oh, my gosh, Pat!! THIS is my idea of a perfect exercise plan!!! I so wish I were close enough to join you! Instead, I will enjoy your photo tours!! Love it! blessings ~ tanna

Mister Meatball said...

My old stompin grounds.

Thanks for sharing.

La Petite Gallery said...

You made my Day. As a child in Texas my Father an engineer, always talked of Pratt. Then I found out my Cousin, an architect went to the famous Pratt. At last I have seen it. I did Graphic Design.
Always wished I could go there.
You have no idea how much I love your posts.
yvonne

Pamela Gordon said...

Thanks for the wonderful tour of the Pratt Institute. Really interesting.

Vee said...

That looks like the most fascinating place. In fact, I took off in the middle to email my niece with the link. I know that she would be interested and she is in the city weekly taking a class somewhere. Wouldn't it be wild if it were there? I don't think so, but who knows.

Loved the story of the cats and the office did look like a Norman Rockwell painting.

Barbara said...

What a great post and great pictures! I love the idea of being a tourist in your own town. I need to get out and do that more often!

Kris said...

GREAT photos Pat. What rich history you are exposed to every day!!! Thanks for taking us along!
Kris

Theanne said...

great tour of the Pratt...what a good idea...to increase your walking and have fabulous photo ops!

Beverly said...

I am so excited about your walking tours. I must admit that my excitement is selfish because I know I will benefit from even more of your wonderful posts about your city. I learn so much from you, Pat, and I love it all.♥

Beth said...

What fun, Pat! It looks like spring in Brooklyn.
Hugs, Beth

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Norman Rockwell indeed! I love touring those old buildings.

Most interesting...your walking tour of Pratt Park and the campus of Pratt Institute. Keep walking...and sharing.

Nezzy said...

What a fun way to explore your city and gain the added exercise.

'Sure beats runnin' up and down these hills and hollers after the wild~eyed cattle. Heeehehehehe!

God bless ya and have a super day sweetie!!!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Another wonderful tour! What a beautiful campus and that office - WOW. That desk is gorgeous.

pam said...

I'm going to enjoy this if you do all or most of the tours. Wonderfully fun all the art. Sometimes I wonder about the why of creating something but some of them do stretch my little world. My hubby is a Mechanical Engineer and is just beginning a study at a major University to change over their systems from that kind of steam powered systems. He said it was fascinating for him to go underground and see how it all worked and try and figure out how to change it all over as repairs would be too costly. You've been on my heart a lot lately...

Kaye said...

So many wonderful sights!

Jo's This and That said...

Thanks for sharing your lovely tour of the town.Yes,you have much to write about.Not like living in this one horse town I live in. Not much here.Thanks for visiting my post Joann

Michelle said...

I always enjoy the peek into your city. I also adore that roll top desk.

Anne said...

I thoroughly enjoyed my walk in the fresh air, it has done me the world of good!

And I know I'm going to get much fitter when I tag along on the rest of your little jaunts!

Yvette said...

When I was young, Pat, I had several friends who went to Pratt.
I'd never visited the campus so thanks for the wonderful tour. Wow. I am impressed.

This is a gorgeous campus. It's also, I know, a great school. Imagine attending classes in such a special place.

rochambeau said...

Thank you for the tour Pat! I adore your neck of the woods and thank you for sharing Pratt, as I've never seen it before, until today!!
Hope you have a happy Valentines day!

Constance

Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs said...

What a way to make exercise fun. And fun for US, as you share. I'm amazed by that teal/blue/whatever sculpture that looks like an apple core. Seems the top would bend over due to its weight. Amazing.

Enjoy your walks. I surely will as you post more recaps of them.

Kim, USA said...

Very interesting and I see many beautiful arts. Thanks for sharing.

WW

Ciao Chow Linda said...

What a great idea you and your friends have Pat, but it's hard to believe you haven't been everywhere in Brooklyn! I never realized all the great sculpture there at Pratt - I'm putting that place on my list. I wish I had known about it when my husband was alive. He was a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for decades and would have loved to visit that generating plant.

Karena said...

Pat what a treat & a great way to see the city. Thanks for showcasing so much wonderful art!

xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Thank you all for your comments! I have to say my friends and I were all very impressed with Pratt and hope to go back to visit more of it, one day in the future.

"Old Kitty" -- I can enlarge the large head sculpture on my Picasa photo program and it is called "Victoria and Eucantha" by Philip Grausman. It is made of fiberglass.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

This looks like a wonderful tour! What a great place to explore.

Annesphamily said...

Pat I can always count on you to give me a great learning lesson! I knew of Pratt but had not seen this kind of detail! I love art and I really enjoyed looking over all the wonderful creative pieces you shared. Thanks Pat, have a terrific weekend!

Cindy said...

What a great way to get your exercise by taking walking tours. As I looked at the photos of this building all I could think of was how picturesque and attractive everything was, like a museum where the old and ugly was covered up.
Very interesting.
Hugs, cindy

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi There, Just stopping by to say HI.... Hope you had a great Valentine's Day. We had a great trip--but it's nice to get home. I'm trying to catch up on some blog posts...

Thanks for taking us with you on the tour of the Pratt Institute....Loved it.

Hugs,
Betsy

Linda said...

Thanks for the tour! You have so many wonderful places to go to in your area! The love sculpture is really cool!

Vicki/Jake said...

Awesomeness again! I love coming here and learning so many wonderful things :)

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

What a great idea to combine exercise with education.

anitamombanita said...

Thanks for the tour. The sculpture garden looks fantastic and I enjoyed the steam generator too... Pretty cool stuff!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

I loved this little tour! I haven't been to NY in years, it might be time to plan a trip...

Ghada @Mama goes BAM said...

wow, gorgeous photos! I'm new to Brooklyn and know about Pratt - your photos are gorgeous. I think I might have to invest in that book!

Claudia said...

I shall have to find that book. My cousin got her Master's degree there - and I believe they arranged for some sort of special doctorate - in historical preservation of buildings. It seems so appropriate now that I gaze at your lovely photos.

Kathleen said...

Very interesting, Pat. I know a few people graduated from there.
The weather has been wonderful for walking. Well, not today, so we made yeast donuts! Tomorrow I will have to walk the one I tried off! ;)

Mary said...

Pat~ I'd walk more if I had fun & educational walking tours to enjoy! I enjoyed your photos you shared on Sarah's post today~ you're my favorite NY tour guide :)

Tracy said...

WOW... I feel refreshed for the walk, and just dazzled by all the wonders! :o) I'm a bit late visiting, but the LOVE coming your way is no less... Hope you've had a LOVE-filled Valentine's week, Pat ((HUGS))

Sheila said...

now thAt's the kind of walking i'd enjoy! You will be seeing other wonderful places and each time there will be a different route and to top it all off you'll be with two friends. it sounds like great fun!

Linda (More Fun Less Laundry) said...

Hi Pat, Thank you sooooo much for this tour of Pratt! My daughter graduated from college last year and is now returning to graduate school, deciding between Pratt and another school. I have never seen Pratt so this was an absolute delight for me. I will send my daughter the link for this post! Linda

nanny said...

What a wonderful way to exercise....you are so lucky to have this beautiful city to explore. And we are lucky to have you pass on all of the interesting and beautiful sights!!

Judie said...

Thanks for being such a wonderful tour guide, Pat. This post is a real treat!!

Susie said...

Pat, I love that old office.What memories are in those walls. The LOVE piece, so interesting to know it's there. I have seen this for years but never really even thought about where it would be. You are a lucky girl to see so much stuff:):) smiles, Susie(She Junks)

Cheryl D. said...

I love the "Love"sculpture! I saw one in Israel that's in Hebrew! It's really cool!

Pratt looks like a really interesting college!

Pondside said...

What an interesting walk! I see that you have no more snow - in February!

Trotter said...

Hi Pat! Great walk!! Very interesting spots to discover in Brooklin. Shame that I usually didn't get off Manhattan... ;)

Blogtrotter Two is visiting a place you probably wouldn’t suspect... ;). Enjoy and have a great week ahead!!!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Fascinating. Funnily enough, a student brought me a replica of that "Love" sculpture, in the form of a brooch, back from the UK. I'd never seen a pic of the full-size version!

storybeader said...

I've been to Brooklyn a few times but never to Pratt. Looks like a great place to visit, esp. in nice weather! {:-Deb

Porch Days said...

Thanks for this tour of Pratt Institute. I have heard a lot about it and now I feel like I have visited. Interesting about the cats.

Jojo said...

Pat, your walk sounds like my kind of walk with plenty of stops and breaks to enjoy the scenery. Love the tour of Pratt.

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Walk and learn - what a great idea Pat. The Pratt Institute is fascinating. I certainly didn't know it was the first free public library in Brooklyn. Libraries are such wonderful things and have opened many minds to learning.
Sam

black eyed susans kitchen said...

What a great post Pat! Pratt Institute certainly does look like a lovely and interesting campus now. My brother in law was accepted there as a student many years ago, but my mother in law thought the area was too dangerous at the time. I often wondered what he would be doing today had he gone there. I don't know how I missed this post before...it is terrific.
♥, Susan

Paula's Postings said...

What a fantastic post and I am looking forward to your other walking posts.

Jenny said...

This is such a Magnificent idea...

And it was a Marvelous tour too...

Great post for the letter "M"!

Thanks for linking.

A+

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

Love the tour of Pratt! I'm so excited for my nephew!

I'm going to send your link to my sister!

steviewren said...

The light fixture in the first inside photo of the steam plant is so unusual. And pretty. Great photos!