This two-hour guided tour is a great introduction to the rich history and modern industry of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Founded in 1801, the Yard served as one of America’s premiere naval shipyards for 165 years. Today, it is a city-owned industrial park and a center of manufacturing, technology, and craft, home to over 330 industrial and creative businesses. This tour gives you a closer look at the Yard’s most intriguing sites, including a dry dock that’s been used continuously for ship repair since 1851, several historic buildings that are being adaptively reused for modern industry, and development projects that will more than double the Yard’s workforce by the year 2020.
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. 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 areas, workshops, and dry docks that kept the US Navy afloat and fighting around the world. As we move around the Yard, we also listen clips of oral histories recorded with sailors and shipworkers, including from female industrial workers, to bring the story of the Yard at war to life.
Celebrate the 150th anniversary of Prospect Park on this special series of guided walking tours of this iconic park. Learn about 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.
Tours are offered in partnership with the Prospect Park Alliance
Step inside an engineering marvel that is today a center of manufacturing and innovation. Built in 1918-1919, this enormous Cass Gilbert-designed complex served as a supply base for the American military for nearly 50 years. Today, this thriving industrial park is home to over 100 companies in industries ranging from precision manufacturers to biotech researchers, online retailers to chocolatiers. This walking tour explores how this teeming military transportation hub operated, and how these facilities are put to use today.
All tours are offered in partnership with the NYC Economic Development Corporation.
• 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 Mexico, sounds 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.>> More Information
• 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.>> More information
Every year during Fleet Week, and on special occasions and holidays, Turnstile Tours partners with Classic Harbor Line to offer boat cruises about the military history of New York Harbor, especially during World War II. Starting from Chelsea Piers, this 2.5-hour cruise aboard one of their beautiful motor yacht features visits to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brooklyn Army Terminal, and USS Intrepid, as well as other historic and military sites along the New Jersey and Brooklyn shores. Along the way, we share the stories of sailors, shipbuilders, longshoremen and merchant mariners who built New York Harbor into the heart of the American war effort.