Immigrants Who Made the Brooklyn Navy Yard Great: Henry Eckford

Filed to: Brooklyn Navy Yard


This week we are profiling immigrants to the United States who made significant contributions to the Brooklyn Navy Yard from the eighteenth century to the present day. 

Henry Eckford (1775-1832)

The long, arduous, and risky journey to America has a way of bringing to our shores the most ambitious, talented, and daring people; Henry Eckford was certainly one of those. Born and raised in the Scottish town of Kilwinning, located not far from the famous shipbuilding center along the Firth of Clyde, Eckford set off from his homeland for Canada to learn the shipbuilding trade at just 16. Like John Barry, he apprenticed with his uncle, and became a skilled shipwright in the yards along the St. Lawrence River. (more…)

Immigrants Who Made the Brooklyn Navy Yard Great: John Barry

Filed to: Brooklyn Navy Yard


This week we are profiling immigrants to the United States who made significant contributions to the Brooklyn Navy Yard from the eighteenth century to the present day. 

John Barry (1745–1803)

Born in Ireland’s southeast County Wexford, John Barry grew up with an abiding hatred for the English. When he was 12, his Catholic family was dispossessed of their land by an English landlord, forcing them to live with family nearby and beginning a period of immense hardship for the family. Barry began apprenticing on his uncle’s fishing vessel, learning the trade of the sea, and at 15 he left Ireland for the Americas, eventually settling in Philadelphia. His career was remarkably successful, as he became master (captain) of a small merchant vessel at just 21 and was the trusted master for one of Philadelphia’s most prominent shipowners, John Nixon. When war broke out and the Continental Navy was formed, Barry became the first commissioned captain to command an American naval vessel, taking on the 14-gun USS Lexington on December 17, 1775. (more…)

Market Value: How Public Markets Drive the Baking Industry Forward

Filed to: EventsIndustryMaking It In NYCPresentationsPublic MarketsTurnstile Studio

several roles being sprinkled with powder

An Essex Street Market “Talk & Taste” event about the baking industry in New York City

Baking is literally our bread and butter in New York City making up the majority of food manufacturing businesses within the five boroughs. On December 8th, 2016 at the Essex Street Market, members of the public joined us for a taste of bagels and fresh bread and a behind-the-scenes look at the baking industry. Guest speakers included Lee Wellington, Executive Director of the Urban Manufacturing Alliance, Gene Davidovich, CEO of Davidovich Bakery, Uliks Fehmiu, Co-Founder & President of Pain D’Avignon, and the general manager from the new bread-themed Eataly NYC Downtown location. Moderator Cindy VandenBosch of Turnstile Tours interviewed panelists about what it takes to operate a food production and distribution business in New York City and the unique role public markets – like Essex Street Market – play in supporting the baking industry. This event was organized by Cindy VandenBosch and Lauren Margolis of the Essex Street Market Vendors Association.

If you missed the event, you can watch the whole discussion on below or on our Facebook page.


Vote in the 2016 Brooklyn Navy Yard Photo Contest

Filed to: Brooklyn Navy YardPhotography


This is year four of our photography tours of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and we need your help to select the best photo of the Yard of 2016. All of these photos were taken across four two-hour explorations we led in partnership with the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92. We received 118 submissions from 22 different visitors for our photography contest, and four judges – one a former staffer at the Yard, one a BLDG 92 Visiting artist, and two artists with studios in the Yard – volunteered their time to select the 12 you see below. (more…)

Fall 2016: Brooklyn Navy Yard Photo Contest

Filed to: Brooklyn Navy YardEventsPhotography


Last week we held our final Brooklyn Navy Yard Seasonal Photography Tour of 2016 (don’t worry if you missed it – our next one will be on January 22). Stay tuned because after we receive the last three finalist photos from this round, we’ll be unveiling the online voting for the year-end People’s Choice Award, and these finalists will be put on display in the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92.

On this Election Day, our photography judge gets to make a much more pleasant and interesting selection than most of us casting our ballots at polling places. This season’s judge is Thyra Heder, an artist, author, illustrator, and woman of many talents who has called the Yard home for many years. If you’re a fan of children’s books, you may have seen her wonderful debut Fraidyzoo (on sale in the BLDG 92 gift shop), which she followed up with The Bear Report. (more…)

Guide to Open House New York 2016

Filed to: ArchitectureBrooklyn Army TerminalBrooklyn Navy YardEventsIndustry

The inside of a metal fabrication shop, a fork lift drives down the center of the space

Open House New York Weekend is always one of our favorite times of year, when hundreds of sites open their doors to the public on October 15 and 16. We don’t get to see as much as we’d like, however, as we’re almost always working – many of our partner sites are also very active participants in OHNY. This year, both the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Brooklyn Army Terminal will be open, with more to see than ever before. Here’s a quick guide to visiting during OHNY. (more…)

Four Freedoms Park: Social Welfare & the City Field Trip

Filed to: ResearchTurnstile Studio


Research supporting educational field trips to Four Freedoms Park using the visible landscape to tell the history of public housing in New York City

Turnstile Studio was selected by the Four Freedoms Park Conservancy to conduct supporting research for an educational program focusing on the history of social welfare in New York City. Using the landscape visible from the park, located on the southern tip of Roosevelt Island in the East River, we identified a series of structures that typified different modes of housing to trace the history of housing for New Yorkers in need from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day. Research included examining primary and secondary source materials from local archives, including the New-York Historical Society, the New York City Municipal Archives, the New York Public Library, and the La Guardia and Wagner Archives at La Guardia Community College.

Summer 2016: Brooklyn Navy Yard Photo Contest

Filed to: AnimalsBrooklyn Navy YardEventsPhotography


Thanks to all the photographers who joined our summer installment of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Photography Tour. This season, the winning photographs will be selected by an artist based in the Yard, Tatiana Arocha.

Over the course of the summer, we got to know Tatiana and her work well, as she led a series of workshops for students in Pratt PreCollege, the summer school for high schoolers at nearby Pratt Institute. Through a discussion of her portfolio and a hands-on activity using some of her own artistic techniques, she helped this group of aspiring artists, designers, engineers, and architects better understand the skills and pathways they might need to succeed in their chosen field. (more…)

Press Release: Turnstile Tours Launches New Weekly Tour of Essex Street Market Sept. 25

Filed to: Press ReleasesPublic Markets

The outside of a market that's painted colorfully with designs that include painted vegetables, fruit, and geometric shapes

Turnstile Tours & Essex Street Market Vendors Association launch weekly 90-minute tasting tours of the market, every Sunday beginning September 25

Tours include 5–7 tastings and opportunities to meet the community of vendors and learn about the rich history of this Lower East Side institution

September 15, 2016, New York, NY — Weekly guided tours are coming to the Lower East Side’s Essex Street Market later this month. New York City-based tour company Turnstile Tours is working with the Essex Street Market Vendors Association (ESMVA) to offer 90-minute market tours every Sunday at 11:30am. While many neighborhood walking tours around the Lower East Side make brief stops at the market, this tour gives visitors an in-depth look at this neighborhood institution. (more…)

Job Opening: Food Tour Guide & Liaison to Spanish-Speaking Partners & Communities

Filed to: Job Openings

hands food cart tour

Turnstile Tours is currently seeking a responsible, enthusiastic, and inquisitive person to join our team of guides to lead tours about street vending, public markets, food manufacturing, and food systems in New York City, and serve as a liaison to Spanish-speaking vendors and communities where we lead and offer tour programs.

All tour guides at Turnstile Tours are responsible for leading interactive, theme-based tours that provide locals and tourists alike with enjoyable, engaging, accessible, and in-depth experiences. All staff are expected to participate in initial and ongoing training sessions, and to support the cultivation of related research that all staff members are expected to actively learn from and contribute to. (more…)