YMCA Park Slope Armory


Are you looking for a place to have fun? You should go to the YMCA Park Slope Armory. Wait… When you arrive there its a huge building. YMCA usually associates with fun and promotes activities with people but in this huge castle like building? Today me and my classmates wandered around and this huge armory caught our attention and we decided to choose this for our research.

castle black and white

When we first saw this huge building we doubled checked and made sure we were at the right place on google maps it told us YMCA Park Slope Armory which we looked at this huge building right in front of us and we couldn’t believe that this was an YMCA place which YMCA places usually promotes fun with kids and other stuff, however when you look at this huge building it seems slightly off.

History of the Armory.

The YMCA Park Slope Armory was built in the Late Victorian Era. It was built in 1893. The original name for this building was called the 14th Regiment Armory, but nicknames are given to it which were called Eighth Avenue Armory and the Park Slope Armory. Originally this building was built for the New York State Militia. The Armory was designed by William Mundell who decided to built this like a medieval military structure in Europe. The building itself was taken over in 1980 by CAMBA a non-profit organization who used it to operate for Women’s Shelters. In 2007 the armory was rebuilt into a sports complex. The armory became an landmark in 1998.

Gothic Architectural

The armory itself can be decided as a Gothic Architectural because the designer himself William Mundell built the armory like a military structure. It was also built in the style of the Late Victorian era. However even if it was built like that we found other evidence that indicate that it is Gothic.

IMG_0451 IMG_0454 castle windows

The windows themselves are Gothic because the side of the armory shows that it’s surrounded by metal bars, but when you see the entrance itself the windows aren’t barred at all. In the photos you can see the fences surrounding it with the pointy tip on it. Another example the building itself is made out of bricks and cement. The parapets show that the armory is like a castle.The windows and the fences show that they don’t want anyone in, but with the windows on the side blocked off if you go in you can’t leave. The armory is similar to a castle although the creator built it like one. The other Gothic Architecture in the photo shows how the window style makes it Gothic architecture. Mostly the way the windows look from the entrance are very similar to the ones in Cathedral. The way they made the building is also Gothic architecture. They made one building taller than the other one typically in Gothic architecture they have several of buildings and some buildings aren’t exactly the same height one is built completely different. The building style is another example of Gothic architecture. The entire armory is Gothic architecture because of how it’s built like a castle, The fences that surround the entrance some cathedrals have it, the windows are the similar style to other places like a cathedral, and lastly the parapets on top are usually on castles which associates itself with Gothic architecture. The entire building shows the Gothic architecture due to its unique style of building and in the modern day no buildings really look like that.

Theoretical Concept and Literary Text.

The Theoretical Concept that applies to this castle is the uncanny. When you arrive at the entrance its all open arms with one entrance you see the fences around it. However when you walk around the building you see that the windows itself is barred. The fences themselves have the a pointy tip which represents a sharp object. If you didn’t know that it was the YMCA Park Slope Armory you would ask why is there a castle in the middle of this area and the size is different from, the house close to it. When you look at the building from a distance you realize it could be something scary inside because of the windows being barred on the side which is strange but the entrance windows aren’t barred at all and there is only one entrance.

The literary text that our Gothic space can be related to many texts. The windows with the metal bars could be viewed as being trapped like Jonathan from “Dracula” by Bram Stoker who finds himself as the prisoner in Dracula’s castle. One of the quotes from Dracula says “But I am not in heart to describe beauty, for when I had seen the view I explored further:doors, doors, doors everywhere and all locked and bolted. In no place save from the windows in the castle walls is there an available exit. The castle is a veritable prison, I am a Prisoner!” Another quote that relates is how Jonathan calls it a castle where the YMCA Park Slope Design was designed medieval times. “The castle is on the very edge of a terrible precipice. A stone falling from the window would fall a thousand feet without touching anything.” Lastly when Jonathan is inside the castle he hasn’t seen the daylight he says ” I must have been asleep, for certainly if I had been fully awake I must have noticed the approach to such a remarkable place. In the gloom the courtyard looked of considerable size, and as several dark ways led from it under great round arches it perhaps seemed bigger than it really is. I have not yet been able to see it by daylight……” The quote can be compared although size wise the armory isn’t as big being inside would block you off from the daylight.

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