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Brooklyn Navy Yard

About this listing

A Navy shipyard from 1801 until 1966, important during the Civil War

Place Details

Borough : Brooklyn
Neighborhood : Navy Yard
Infrastructure, Historic Site & Museum

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 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...

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Brooklyn Navy Yard


Robert Baird Paterson (Myrtle Avenue Neighborhood Organization (MANO))

More than 300 years of maritime history is represented here.

Robert Bellarosa

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.

Corie Trancho

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.

Judith Vernon

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)

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