To celebrate the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s 221st birthday, which takes place during Black History Month, we’re looking at the past and present of Black trailblazers and innovators at the Yard. Join this panel discussion as we examine the vital role played by Black sailors and shipworkers since 1801, and how the Yard has been an engine for economic empowerment since it became a city-owned industrial park in 1969. We will be joined by entrepreneurs, artists, and craftspeople in the Yard today, as well as staff from the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation.
Concrete is the world’s most ubiquitous building material, and many important milestones of its development took place in Brooklyn. In this virtual program, we will examine concrete’s history, production, and chemistry, then discuss some of the landmark structures that drove the development of steel-reinforced concrete in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. From Gowanus to DUMBO, Prospect Park to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, we will look at monumental buildings and small details designed by some renowned architects, including Cass Gilbert, Albert Kahn, and Calvert Vaux.
- John C. Goodridge (1874) Beton-Coignet: A Description of the Material and its Uses in France and America
- Histoire de la maison Coignet (1900)
- Turner Construction (1919) A Record of War Activities
- “Pouring Concrete: The Brooklyn Navy Yard Prepares for War”
- Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation
- “Alternative materials could shrink concrete’s giant carbon footprint” (Chemical & Engineering News)
To mark the 80th anniversary since the attack on Pearl Harbor, this virtual program will examine the connections between the fleet in Hawaii in 1941 and the Brooklyn Navy Yard. We will look at the histories of the eight ships built at the Yard that were moored in Pearl Harbor that Sunday morning, including the battleships Arizona and Tennessee. We will also discuss the role the Yard played in salvaging the Pacific Fleet in the aftermath of the attack, as more than 1,000 skilled Brooklyn shipworkers volunteered to go to Hawaii to help rebuild.
- Brooklyn Navy Yard Oral History Collection
- Pearl Harbor National Memorial Oral History Collection (NPS)
- Pearl Harbor Salvage Report 1944 (NHHC)
- Pearl Harbor: Why, How, Fleet Salvage and Final Appraisal (NHHC)
- Edward C. Raymer (2012) Descent Into Darkness: Pearl Harbor, 1941 — A Navy Diver’s Memoir
The Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92 opened its doors on Veterans Day 2011, 11/11/11, making it the first publicly-accessible building at the Yard in over a century, and the first in a series of projects that have pushed back Yard’s walls. BLDG 92 was created to be the public gateway, containing not only the museum of the Yard’s history and contemporary story, but serving as a hub for educational and public programs, and brining the Yard’s Employment Center closer to the community. On this virtual tour of BLDG 92 and its exhibits, we will look at how this project was realized, what the exhibits tell us about the Yard’s story, what is missing from that interpretation 10 years on, and how the Yard engages the public today through different sites and programs.
- Brooklyn Navy Yard Archives
- Small Works for Big Change art sale
- Atmosphere for Invention: Art & Object Walk on Flushing Avenue / Public Art in Building 77
- Creative History at the Brooklyn Navy Yard
In 1835, Naples-born painter Nicolino Calyo arrived in New York, and over the next 20 years, he produced a body of work that captured both the grandeur and minutia of city life. An experienced landscape painter, one of his first works was also one of the grandest—a series of paintings of the great fire of December 16–17, 1835, which would build his fame in America and lead to a number of touring exhibitions, including large-scale panoramas, a popular entertainment of the era. He also produced over 100 paintings of street vendors, and invaluable catalogue of the sidewalk economy of 1840s New York. In this virtual program, we will discuss Calyo’s life and career, and examine some of his most notable works, large and small.
- Calyo’s “Cries of New York” paintings (Yale University Art Gallery)
- Calyo’s “Views of New York During the Great Fire” (Museum of the City of New York)
- Calyo’s “Servants at the Pump” (Smithsonian)
- The Cries of New-York, 1808 (Smithsonian)
- A Spectacle in Motion: The Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage ‘Round the World (Mystic Seaport)
- Margaret Sloane Patterson, “Nicolino Calyo and His Paintings of the Great Fire of New York” (JSTOR)
- Steven H. Jaffe, “Cries of New York” (Museum of the City of New York)
The Brooklyn Navy Yard is the hub for Open House New York Weekend, with food trucks, pop-up eateries, outdoor activations, and tours. We will be hosting a series of virtual tours on the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s Instagram Live @bklynnavyyard starting at 12pm with a tour of the food trucks that will be setting up shop at Building 77 all weekend. Then we’re going into the studio with artist Charlotta Westergren, and we’ll finish off the day with a tour of whiskey production at the Kings County Distillery.
Watch on the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s Instagram IGTV.
The Waterfront Museum presents The Tideshift Project, an oral history collecting event presented live aboard the 1914 Lehigh Valley Railroad No. 79 wooden lighterage barge moored in Red Hook, Brooklyn. This three-part series will record stories from waterfront workers who have handled freight in and near Red Hook, and from their descendants. This first event featured interviews with waterfront workers who lived and worked through the transition to containerization, including James McNamara, Robert Hansen, and Gregory “Buddy” Cox in conversation with Stefan D-W.
These are free events and donations to the Waterfront Museum are welcome. The Tideshift Project was funded in part by Humanities New York with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
At the dawn of the nineteenth century, the US Navy established six naval shipyards to build, repair, and outfit the fleet. From the “original six”—Boston, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Portsmouth, Norfolk, and Washington—the public shipyard system would expand over the next 150 years, peaking at 11 in 1943. Today, only four Naval Shipyards still exist, but as the other sites have been decommissioned over the past five decades, they have been repurposed as industrial parks, residential neighborhoods, container ports, and more. This virtual program will examine the history of these yards’ closure, the challenges and successes of their repurposing, and the future of the country’s active public shipyards.
- Military Shipbuilding Google Map
- Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Map
- Arthur Andersen Shipbuilding Report (1962)
- “Navy Needs More Dry Docks for Repairs” (USNI News, Mar 21, 2019)
- “U.S. Coast Guard Announces A New Superbase In Charleston, South Carolina” (Forbes, Feb 20, 2020)
- Turning Bases Into Great Places: New Life for Closed Military Facilities (EPA)
- Nathan Kensinger Photography: The San Francisco Naval Shipyard
- Hunters Point Shipyard Artists
Join artist Tatiana Arocha for a virtual visit and artmaking workshop live from her studio at the Brooklyn Navy Yard! We will see how she incorporates plants, seeds, and other natural materials into her mural making process, while drawing inspiration from plants and animals in the rainforest in her native country of Colombia. Recommended materials to have ready for the program include paper, crayons or pencils, dirt in a cup, a leaf, seeds, and some small rocks.
Take a behind-the-scenes virtual tour of Russ & Daughters’ Appetizing Factory at the Brooklyn Navy Yard! We’ll hear the story of how this iconic New York business was started over a hundred years ago by a pushcart peddler on the streets of the Lower East Side and step inside their bakery to see how they make bagels, babka, black and white cookies, and other appetizing delicacies!