For 165 years, the Brooklyn Navy Yard was a leading naval shipyard, building some of America’s most famous fighting Naval ships, including the USS Maine, USS Arizona, and USS Missouri. Today the Yard is a city-owned industrial park and a center of manufacturing, technology, and craft, home to over 400 industrial and creative businesses, creating thousands of jobs for New Yorkers. This guided tour offers an overview of the vast 300-acre property and its history, from its founding in 1801, through major political and technological eras – including the Civil War, World War II, and its transition to a civilian industrial park – that are still visible in the Yard’s historic landscape.
This tour offers opportunities to take 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 in the near future. Along the way, we will use oral history clips and historical photographs from the site’s naval past, as well as stories of the people at the Yard today, to bring this place to life. While we use a bus to get from place to place, we do get off the bus at several locations throughout the Yard to take a closer look.