top of page

Everything You Need To Know Before Visiting Grand Army Plaza

Grand Army Plaza is the main entrance of Brooklyn’s flagship park: Prospect Park. It marks the beginning of the world’s first parkway, the Eastern Parkway and was originally designed to connect the city’s parks with decorative roads free of commercial traffic. The streets are designed in concentric oval rings with the namesake Plaza Street comprising the outer ring. Keep reading to learn more about the history of Grand Army Plaza, its monuments and highlights, get answers to the most frequently asked questions about The Plaza, and reviews from real visitors!

About the Grand Army Plaza

Grand Army Plaza was originally designed by Calvert Vaux. He thought The Plaza was a vital design element that would offer a beautiful welcome to visitors of Prospect Park—it was even the first feature of the park built.

Once the New York State Legislature authorized the city of Brooklyn to begin selecting sites for public parks to be made, construction of Grand Army Plaza began in 1865. However, there were a number of times over the years that caused construction of the park to be stalled, like during the Civil War and during the economic panic of 1873. There have also been times when reconstruction took place: in 1915, 1928, 1980 and a $9 million arch restoration project was given the green light in 2018.

To learn more about the rich history and changes to the Grand Army Plaza over the years, Ask a Guide.


Aside from the beautiful architecture and scenic landscapes, you’ll find historic monuments at Grand Army Plaza. When you visit Grand Army Plaza, make sure you stop by these six areas of interest.

General Henry Warner Slocum Statue

Monument of General Henry Warner Slocum via NYC Gov Parks

Location: East Plaza Street, east of Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch

Sculptor: Frederick William MacMonnies

Architect: Stanford White

Description: This 17-foot pink Milford granite statue features Major General Henry Warner Slocum riding on a horse during battle.

Cast: ca. 1905

Dedicated: May 30, 1905

Foundry: E. Gruet

Donor: Brooklyn City Legislature

Henry Warner Slocum, Sr. (September 24, 1827 – April 14, 1894), was a Union general during the American Civil War and later served in the United States House of Representatives from New York. During the war, he was one of the youngest major generals in the army and fought numerous major battles in the Eastern Theater, Georgia and the Carolinas. Learn more about Henry Warner Slocum here.

General Gouverneur Kemble Warren Statue

Wally Gobetz / CC BY 2.0

Location: West of the Arch on sidewalk near Union Street

Sculptor: Henry Baerer

Description: This 17’6” statue made of bronze and Conway green granite features the standing figure of Major General Gouverneur Kemble Warren.

Cast: 1893

Dedicated: June 26, 1896 (most recent)

Foundry: Henry-Bonnard Bronze Co. New York

Donor: G.K.Warren Post #286, N.Y. Department of the G.A.R.

Gouverneur Kemble Warren (January 8, 1830 – August 8, 1882) was an American civil engineer and Union Army general during the American Civil War. He is best remembered for bringing the Union a battle victory with his last-minute defense at Little Round Top during the Battle of Gettysburg. His fast-thinking and the following victory earned him the nickname "Hero of Little Round Top."

Unfortunately, General Warren's subsequent service as a corps commander and his remaining military career were ruined during the Battle of Five Forks when Philip Sheridan relieved him of command of the V Corps on the spotSheridan claimed that Warren moved his Corps too slowly.

After the war, Warren resigned his commission as a major general in protest to Sheridan’s actions and spent the rest of his career attempting to exonerate his name. A board of inquiry was finally called in 187914 years after he was relieved of commandand it was found that Sheridan wasn't justified in relieving Warren during the battle. You can read more about Gouverneur Kemble Warren here.

Dr. Alexander Skene Statue

David Shankbone / CC BY-SA

Location: Against an earth bank to the southeast of the main plaza ellipse between Vanderbilt and Flatbush Avenues

Sculptor: John Massey Rhind

Architect: M.L. and H.G. Emery

Description: Bronze and white Vermont marble sculpture bust of Alexander Johnston Chalmers Skene, M.D.

Cast: ca. 1905

Dedicated: 1905

Alexander Johnston Chalmers Skene was a Brooklyn-based physician, medical researcher, and college and hospital administrator. He was urged not to pursue a medical career in Brooklyn but he ignored those suggestions and ultimately became nationally and internationally recognized as an influential medical figure based on his contributions to the medical field.

Skene was the founder of International Congress of Gynecology and Obstetrics, co-founder of the American Gynecological Society, wrote over 100 medical articles and several textbooks. He contributed many surgical instruments and improved on surgical techniques. He also performed the first successful gastro-elytrotemy and craniotomy operations ever recorded. You can learn more about Dr. Skene at The Skene Memorial Library.

Henry Maxwell Memorial

Garry R. Osgood / CC BY-SA

Location: Plaza Street and St. Johns Place

Sculptor: Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Albert Jaegers

Description: A 4’3 plaque made of bronze and granite with bas-relief roundel on an eight foot high boulder. This memorial is a replica of the original which has been moved to the Brooklyn Museum.

Cast: 1996

Dedicated: June 25, 1996 (most recent)

Fabricator: Modern Art Foundry

Donor: David Schwartz Foundation

This tablet memorial honors Henry W. Maxwell, a Brooklyn-based banker, philanthropist and supporter of public education. He donated money to several local charities and organizations, including the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, the Home for Destitute Children, and Long Island College Hospital. He also financially supported the construction of Memorial Industrial School No. 2.

It was estimated that during his lifetime, Henry Maxwell donated over $300,000 per year to charity and all without public knowledge or acknowledgement. For more information about Henry W. Maxwell, you can read an article about the tremendous impact he secretly had in Brooklyn in this article from the Brownstoner.

Bailey Fountain

Phil Roeder / CC BY 2.0

Location: North side of Grand Army Plaza

Sculptor: Eugene F. Savage

Architect: Edgerton Swarthout; H. Craig Severance (advisor)

Description: Six bronze heroic scaled figures, three standing and three reclined, inside a basin with rock-work coping. Around 25 feet high.

Cast: 1931

Dedicated: 1932

Donor: Frank and Mary Louise Bailey

This fountain was funded by philanthropist Frank Bailey as a memorial to his wife in 1929. The fountain was completed in 1932. The fountain features bronze male and female sculptures aboard the prow of a ship, representing Wisdom and Felicity, surrounded by Neptune, his attendant Triton, and a boy holding a cornucopia. The Bailey Fountain was fully rehabilitated in 1956 and again in 2005. The fountain is a popular gathering spot and has served as a sought-after backdrop for wedding photos.

Frank Bailey was a Brooklyn-based financier, philanthropist, and avid horticulturist. His autobiography, “It Can’t Happen Here Again: The Life Story of a Self-Made Man," was published in 1945 by Alfred A. Knopf (ASIN B0007E41VS).

John F. Kennedy Statue

Opencooper / CC0

Sculptor: Neil Estern

Description: 7'4 bronz