Brooklyn Navy Yard: Past, Present & Future Tour

Filed to: Brooklyn Navy Yard ToursHistory ToursMilitary HistoryTour PagesWaterfront & Maritime Tours

The LEED-Platinum certified Broklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92. Credit Andrew Gustafson

• Saturdays & Sundays at 2pm • Bus & Walking •


For over 150 years, the Brooklyn Navy Yard churned out America’s most famous fighting Naval ships, from the USS Maine to the USS Missouri. Today, the Yard is a model for sustainable urban industrial parks and is home to over 330 industrial and creative businesses. This guided tour explores the vast 300-acre (126-hectare) property along Brooklyn’s industrial waterfront and offers opportunities to take a closer look at the Yard’s most intriguing sites, including a dry dock that’s been used for ship repair since 1851, historic buildings that are being adaptively reused for industrial purposes, and the Green Manufacturing Center, a future hub for the development of new products and technologies. Oral history clips and historical photographs from the site’s Naval past, as well as stories of industrial innovators at the Yard today, will also be included on this tour. While we’ll use a bus to get you from place to place, we will be getting off the bus at several locations throughout the Yard to take a closer look.

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Brooklyn Navy Yard: World War II Tour

Filed to: Brooklyn Navy Yard ToursHistory ToursMilitary HistoryTour PagesWaterfront & Maritime Tours

Credit: New York Naval Shipyard Sesqui-Centennial  Anniversary

• Monthly on Select Sundays • Bus & Walking •


The Brooklyn Navy Yard played a pivotal role in World War II, building battleships and aircraft carriers, repairing over 5,000 ships, and sending troops and supplies to fronts across the globe. Not only did the Yard construct the USS Arizona a generation before the war, which was sunk at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, but it is also where the battleship Missouri was constructed, where the peace treaty ending the war was signed in 1945. Thanks to the efforts of its 70,000 workers, the Brooklyn Navy Yard became the world’s busiest shipyard, earning the nickname “The Can-Do Yard” for its ability to patch up wounded ships and put them back in action.

This tour examines the role of the New York City waterfront in the war effort, explores connections between the Yard and famous battles of World War II, and visits sites of significance that remain from this era, including the former ship assembly shops and the historic Dry Dock 1. Throughout the tour, we listen to clips of oral histories recorded with sailors and shipworkers who were at the Yard during the war, including from women working in industrial jobs, and from people of color, for whom the war presented both challenges and new opportunities. This tour aims to evoke a sense of what the Yard was like during the war – a place of tremendous energy, innovation, and achievement, but tempered by terrible loss. While we use a bus to get you from place to place, we provide opportunities for everyone to get off the bus at several stops for a closer look at historically significant sites.

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Prospect Park Tours

Filed to: History ToursSpecial EventsTour PagesTour Programs

RS2535_037-lpr

• Select Sundays at 10am & Fridays at 6pm • Walking •


Celebrate the 150th anniversary of Prospect Park on this special series of guided walking tours of this iconic park in the heart of Brooklyn. These tours will examine the Park’s many layers of natural and human history, from the flora and geology, to the architectural eras visible in the built environment. Prospect Park is a reflection of Brooklyn; its history traces that of the city around it, and it is today an important gathering place for many diverse communities that call the borough home. Learn about the Alliance’s historic restoration and environmental preservation work in the Park, including cultural and recreation projects currently underway.

Through this interactive experience, explore how use of the Park has changed over time, from the original vision of designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux to the ways in which the Park is used today. Tours will begin at several different locations throughout the year, but each tour will include visits to many of the key natural and historic landmarks of the Park. These tours are offered by Turnstile Tours on behalf of Prospect Park Alliance, the non-profit organization that sustains, restores, and advances the Park in partnership with New York City.

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Brooklyn Army Terminal Tour

Filed to: Architecture ToursBrooklyn Army Terminal ToursHistory ToursMilitary HistoryTour PagesWaterfront & Maritime Tours

BAT atrium longview

• Select Weekends at 11am • Walking •


Step inside an engineering marvel that is today a center of innovation and business development in New York City. Built to supply American forces on the Western Front in World War I, this enormous Cass Gilbert-designed complex served as a supply base for the American military until the Vietnam War. Today, this thriving industrial park is home to over 100 companies in a wide array of industries, from precision manufacturers to biotech researchers, online retailers to chocolatiers.

On this 2-hour walking tour, we will explore how millions of tons of war supplies and personnel were shipped through this teeming transportation hub, hear the stories of soldiers, longshoremen, and merchant mariners who worked these piers, rail yards, and warehouses, and learn how these facilities are put to use today. Looking at the broader context, this tour will discuss what made the Port of New York the envy of the world in the mid-20th century, why it went into decline, and how Brooklyn’s working waterfront is being revitalized today. Along the way, we will enjoy sweeping views of the harbor, visit the 600,000-square-foot unrestored space of Building A, and step inside the Terminal’s architectural gem – the breathtaking atrium of Building B, where freight trains once rumbled through to be loaded from the innovative cantilevered balconies. Join us to explore the sights and stories of a century of work at the Brooklyn Army Terminal!

Turnstile Tours is a certified provider for the American Institute of Architects Continuing Education System, and participants on this tour can receive AIA CES credits. See below for more information.
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Moore Street Market: Immigrant Foodways Tour

Filed to: Food ToursHistory ToursPublic Market ToursTour Pages

Man holds a platter of meat and a woman tastes meat on a toothpick and smiles

• Select Saturdays at 11am • Walking •


From farms to pushcarts to public markets, this 2-hour walking and tasting tour explores historical aspects of New York’s food system and the influence of Caribbean and Latin American cultures and cuisines on the past and present of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Once known for its pickles and kosher meat, today the eastern section of Williamsburg serves up herbal tea remedies from Mexicosounds of salsa, and traditional ingredients. Based on more than 20 oral history interviews with neighborhood residents and local business owners, and on original archival research, this tour explores the history of Brooklyn’s “Avenue of Puerto Rico” and takes an in-depth look at the Moore Street Market, built in 1941 to mark the end of the pushcart era and today a centerpiece of the Spanish-speaking community. The tour includes 6-8 generous tastings from market vendors and local eateries.

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Essex Street Market Tour

Filed to: Food ToursHistory ToursPublic Market ToursTour Pages

Outdoor photo of a one-story public market with an entrance on the ground floor and windows up above the entrances. Flags that bear the name Essex Street Market fly above the windows and plants are lined up outside the market as people pass by.

• Sundays at 11:30am • Walking •


Join us for an exploration of the Essex Street Market, a centerpiece of the Lower East Side community for more than 75 years. On this 90-minute walking and tasting tour, we will visit with 5-6 vendors, from fishmongers and cheesemongers to bakers, coffee roasters, and restaurateurs. We’ll taste their delicious food and learn about the role the market has played in the evolution of their respective businesses, both vendors who have been there for decades and newcomers. We will rotate the featured vendors from week to week, but tastings may include European and American farmstead cheeses, fresh-baked bagels and breads, coffee, rice balls, fish sandwiches, tacos, spinach pies, or a sampling of Japanese dishes. Along the way, we will also explore the past, present, and future of New York City’s public market system, from its beginnings in the 1930’s under Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, to its role today in providing quality food and opportunities for businesses to launch and grow. We will also look at the historical and contemporary intersections with street vending and the city’s food distribution systems, as well as discussing the future of the market as part of the Essex Crossing redevelopment project. 

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Military History Tour of New York Harbor

Filed to: Harbor ToursHistory ToursMilitary HistoryTour PagesWaterfront & Maritime Tours

USS San Antonio and USS New York. Credit: Navsource.org

• Offered during NYC Fleet Week and for special events • Boat Cruise •


In honor of Fleet Week and Memorial Day, we are again working with Classic Harbor Line to offer this special series of boat tours focusing on the military history of New York Harbor, especially during World War II. Starting from Chelsea Piers, this 2.5-hour cruise aboard their beautiful motor yacht Manhattan II will feature visits to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brooklyn Army Terminal, Staten Island Navy pier, and USS Intrepid, as well as getting a waterside view of the active naval vessels. Along the way, we will share the stories of sailors, shipbuilders, longshoremen and merchant mariners who built New York Harbor into the heart of the American war effort. Each ticket includes one complimentary drink from the bar and light snacks. Fleet Week NYC 2017 will feature a huge assembly of ships from the United States Sea Services, including the US Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps. In addition to stopping on Manhattan’s West Side and Staten Island, ships will also be coming to Brooklyn, berthing at the Red Hook Cruise Ship Terminal.

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