Guided Tour Series Offers Insider’s View of Factories, Workshops, and Tech Hubs
(Brooklyn, NY) — Have you ever wondered what’s made at the Brooklyn Navy Yard? Now you can find out by joining special insider tours of some of the 330 businesses that call the thriving industrial park home. The tours will include visits to a wide range of facilities, from woodworking shops to spacesuit makers to the groundbreaking new technology center, New Lab.
Brooklyn Navy Yard: Inside Industry Tours are offered by the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92, the Yard’s exhibition and visitor center, and their tour partner, Turnstile Tours. These 90-minute guided walking tours will begin at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92’s gallery, which showcases some of the 330+ businesses that call the Navy Yard home. Participants will then head out into the Yard to visit a factory, workshop, or studio of a featured Yard business, where visitors will have the opportunity to see things being made and meet and ask questions of business owners and staff of the companies that have made the Brooklyn Navy Yard a pre-eminent center of industry and manufacturing in New York City.
“This tour series at the Brooklyn Navy Yard connects residents and visitors to the manufacturing sector, which is often hidden from public view,” said Lee Wellington, Executive Director of the Urban Manufacturing Alliance. “The connections forged through the Inside Industry tours expose the need to preserve industrial space, prepare young people for the trades, and support local makers and manufacturers as consumers.”
The tours will be offered on select Fridays at 9:30am, starting October 7th. Each month there will be at least two Inside Industry Tours; one tour will feature a different Navy Yard based company, while the other will give visitors a chance to see New Lab, the Yard’s groundbreaking new tech hub.
Tours are $20 per person, with discounts available for seniors (65+), children (11 and under), and military veterans and active duty service members. Tickets can be purchased in advance at turnstiletours.com, and each tour is limited to 15-20 people to allow for an intimate, engaging experience. Many of the tours are accredited by the American Institute of Architects Continuing Education System, allowing architecture professionals to receive credit for attending.
The series kicks off in October as part of Archtober, New York City Architecture and Design Month, with tours featuring companies that will be of great interest to architecture and design professionals. Friday, October 7 is Ferra Designs, an architectural metalworking company that designs, builds, and installs elaborate custom pieces. Visitors will learn about their unique methodology, and see some of their machinery at work on the shop floor. On Wednesday, October 26 the tour will visit IceStone, where visitors will see crushed glass and cement transformed into beautiful, sustainable countertops.
Monthly tours of New Lab begin Friday, October 21. Located inside the Navy Yard’s Green Manufacturing Center, New Lab is an interdisciplinary space designed to support entrepreneurs working in emerging technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, and connected devices. Stepping inside a century-old machine shop that has been adaptively reused for cutting-edge industry, these tours will examine some of the companies and technologies that have emerged from New Lab, and their vision of manufacturing and innovation. Starting in November Inside Industry: New Lab tours will be offered the second Friday of every month at 9:30 am.
Other featured businesses will include spacesuit maker Final Frontier Design (Nov. 18 at 4pm); woodworkers Bien Hecho, which specializes in using reclaimed and salvaged wood, and Refoundry, a non-profit that employs formerly incarcerated people to create furniture from their own original designs (Dec. 2 at 9:30am); furniture maker Scott Jordan and homegoods manufacturer American Heirloom, where visitors will learn how these companies utilize automated technologies to stay competitive and create customized products (Jan. 27 at 9:30am).
If you can’t make it to a weekday tour, BLDG 92 and Turnstile Tours offer public tours every weekend, including the flagship two-hour bus and walking tour Brooklyn Navy Yard: Past, Present & Future, offered every Saturday and Sunday and 2pm. Tours about the Yard’s World War II history, as well as about sustainable architecture and urban ecology, are also offered on select weekends. Tickets range from $20 to $30 per person.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard is owned by the City of New York and managed by the not-for-profit Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC). BNYDC leases space in the Yard, promotes local economic development, develops underutilized areas and oversees modernization of the Yard’s infrastructure. Established in 1801, the Brooklyn Navy Yard served as one of America’s preeminent military facilities for more than 150 years. Today, the Yard is a thriving industrial park with more than 300 businesses that employ over 7,000 people. In 2011, BNYDC opened the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92—an exhibition, visitors and employment center—to celebrate the Yard’s past, present and future and its role as a national model for sustainable urban industry and job creation. Visit www.BrooklynNavyYard.org for more information.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92 is the public gateway to the yard, celebrating its past, present, and future and promoting the role the Yard and its tenants play as an engine for job creation and sustainable urban industrial growth. The center is home to permanent and rotating exhibitions, and hosts educational programs, workforce development services, and a robust public tour program. BLDG 92 exhibits are openWednesday through Sunday, 12pm–6pm, and admission is always free. Visit bldg92.orgfor more information.
Turnstile Tours creates and operates unique, rigorously-researched, engaging tours and public programs in partnership with non-profit organizations and cultural institutions that bring together out-of-town visitors, community residents, and people of all ages and abilities. Turnstile is a Certified B-Corporation and a New York State-registered Benefit Corporation, and has committed to contribute at least 5% of all ticket sales to designated non-profit partners. In addition to programming at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Turnstile Tours also operates public tours of the Brooklyn Army Terminal, tour of New York City’s public markets, and Food Cart Tours exploring the street food scene in Manhattan’s Financial District and Midtown. Visit turnstiletours.com for more information.
Brooklyn Navy Yard: Inside Industry Tour Schedule:
Featured will include:
- Friday, October 7, 9:30am: Ferra Designs *
- Friday, October 21, 9:30am: New Lab
- Wednesday, October 26, 9:30am: IceStone *
- Friday, November 11, 9:30am: New Lab
- Friday, November 18, 4pm: Final Frontier Design
- Friday, December 2, 9:30am: Bien Hecho & Refoundry *
- Friday, December 9, 9:30am: New Lab
- Friday, January 13, 9:30am: New Lab
- Friday, January 27, 9:30am: Scott Jordan Furniture & American Heirloom *
- Friday, February 10, 9:30am: New Lab
- Friday, February 17, 9:30am: SITU Fabrication *
- Friday, March 10, 9:30am: New Lab
- Friday, March 24, 9:30am: Woodside Press
* American Institute of Architects Continuing Education System accredited tour
Michelle Friedman, Marino.