About this listing
A Navy shipyard from 1801 until 1966, important during the Civil War
Borough : Brooklyn
Neighborhood : Navy Yard
Place Matters Profile
What is now the Brooklyn Navy Yard used to be a tobacco plantation on the East River on what was then called "Wallabout Bay." In 1781, it was transformed into a shipping yard, and in 1801, the Brooklyn Navy Yard was founded as the New York Naval Shipyard. For 165 years the Yard produced Americaâs mightiest warships and related technologies that helped shape our nationâs future. During the Civil War, it was the primary site for repairing ships and distributing supplies for the Union Fleet. During WWII the âCan-Doâ Yard employed 70,000 male and female civilian workers who built, converted or repaired over 5,000 ships in service to our nation. Many of the surrounding Fort Greene residents were shipbuilders and repairmen. When the Yard closed in 1966, thousands of New Yorkers lost their jobs and, although the City purchased the property, it took decades for the Yard and its neighbors...
What is now the Brooklyn Navy Yard used to be a tobacco plantation on the East River on what was then called "Wallabout Bay." In 1781, it was transformed into a shipping yard, and in 1801, the Brooklyn Navy Yard was founded as the New York Naval Shipyard. For 165 years the Yard produced America’s mightiest warships and related technologies that helped shape our nation’s future. During the Civil War, it was the primary site for repairing ships and distributing supplies for the Union Fleet. During WWII the “Can-Do” Yard employed 70,000 male and female civilian workers who built, converted or repaired over 5,000 ships in service to our nation. Many of the surrounding Fort Greene residents were shipbuilders and repairmen. When the Yard closed in 1966, thousands of New Yorkers lost their jobs and, although the City purchased the property, it took decades for the Yard and its neighbors to recover. Today, the Brooklyn Navy Yard Industrial Park is home to over 300 businesses in diverse industries from traditional maritime to media, medicine, design and construction, fashion, carpentry and green manufacturing. Throughout its history, the Yard has been a center of industrial innovation and its workers have displayed skilled craftsmanship and an entrepreneurial spirit that are the foundation for the Yard’s revitalization and success today.
This vibrant industrial park sits on its historic 300-acre site along the East River in between the Williamsburg and Manhattan Bridges, and is bordered by the neighborhoods of Williamsburg, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill and Dumbo. More than 45 building altogether represent an extraordinary variety of architectural styles, dating from the early 19th century to the 21st century state-of-the-art, with influences of premiere architects in Greek Revival, Italianate, Second Empire, Art Deco, and Moderne styles with exemplar related engineering technologies. Waterfront assets include six historic dry docks and active piers. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Yard is also home to three NYC landmarks: the oldest operating Naval dry dock in the nation (1851), the US Naval Hospital (1838), and the Chief Surgeon's Quarters (1863).
The Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC) operates the Yard on behalf of its owner, the City of New York. Under BNYDC management, as of 2013, the Yard is in the midst of its largest expansion since WWII. Environmental sustainability - including green infrastructure improvement, preservation and recognition of the Yard's rich history, are core components of existing and future revitalization efforts. Major development projects are currently under way at several Yard sites including the redevelopment of the naval hospital complex as a state-of-the-art media campus, the opening of the Green Manufacturing Center in a 240,000-square-foot former machine shop, the conversation of the Yard's largest building into a biomedical hub and a development plan for the historic Admiral's Row site that includes the preservation of an 1833 timber shed, Quarters B, and new construction of 125,000 square feet of industrial space, and a grocery store which will bring much needed food and jobs to the local community.
The history of the Yard - from the Revolutionary War tot he revolutionin jobs and manufacturing happening in New York City right now - is explored through exhibits and programs at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92, which opened to the public in November 2011.
Robert Baird Paterson (Myrtle Avenue Neighborhood Organization (MANO))
More than 300 years of maritime history is represented here.
The first Civil War ships were made here, as well as an FDR aircraft carrier and the USS Missouri. Al Capone went to school at nearby PS 7.
Officer's Row was a small section of the Brooklyn Navy Yard that served as home for upper officers, commanders and their families. The houses, even in their current state of ruin, are stately mansions, originally equipped with maid's quarters and dumbwaiters. The plot of land also was home to a stable, later converted into an ice skating rink, tennis courts, and dotted with fruit trees and a communal vegetable garden.
Officer's Row stood in stark contrast to its surrounding neighborhood. Those that grew up there lived separately from their industrial, working class neighbors. The contrast itself is quite unique.
The houses of Officer's Row are now overgrown and dilapidated. However, their complete absence would be noted. There is a true essence of history in their existence, a reminder of eras past. Without them, that small corner of the Brooklyn Navy Yard would completely blend in with its urban surroundings, and a piece of history would fade with it.
I wanted to know more about The Brooklyn Navy Yard after reading a letter my grandfather wrote to my grandmother in 1919 from Marshall Island CA in a Naval Hospital ,where he was transferred from NY Roosevelt Hospital after getting seriously injured in an accident while loading a barge on the Hudson River at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. I have the letter he wrote in 1932 to his Commandant asking for any information on the accident because he couldn't remember what happened and needed more information. He lived out the rest of his life in a veterans hospital in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania untill he died in 1960. I attended his funeral with my mother in February 1960. He was buried at the Beverly National Cemetery in Beverly NJ. I have been interested in him all my life and I'm trying to find out anything I can about him.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard protected our Nation in a time of war. NO other place COULD matter more. I believe the rest of our country would not be here today if we never had "The Brooklyn Navy yard." (April 2008)