Our founding mission is “to advance public knowledge about the meaning of place, foster connections and understanding between people of diverse backgrounds, and inspire and reflect a culture of community participation through providing welcoming, well-researched, inclusive, and engaging educational experiences and resources to people of all ages and abilities.”
Turnstile Studio allows us to extend this mission beyond the programming we currently operate in New York City. We are always looking for partners and clients who share these values, and we seek to share the depth and breadth of our experience and expertise to support cultural sites, community-based institutions, economic development organizations, and other non-profits, in their efforts to more effectively engage the public.
We provide consulting services to support the capacity-building efforts of organizations to more effectively welcome, engage, and inform the public through placemaking and civic participation projects, public programming and tours, and educational, interpretive, and wayfinding resources.
Thanks to the diverse talents of our team, who combine decades of experience in a range of fields, our core competencies include:
- Organizational capacity-building for public engagement
- Staff training and professional development
- Research and content production
- Visitor services and engagement
- Accessibility training and technical assistance
- Visitor wayfinding: mapmaking and place-based interpretation
- Development and evaluation of tours and public programs
Below you will find examples of our past projects – please contact us if you would like more information about our practice at Turnstile Studio.
Presented by the Center for Architecture, Archtober is an annual festival of lectures, tours, exhibitions, and films that celebrate all things architecture in New York City. These special tours of Prospect Park will focus on the park’s historic design and contemporary restoration, including an Art & Architecture Tour, a close look at the park’s water system and recently-restored 1869 Wellhouse building, and a tour with a special focus on the park’s east side, including the Rose Garden, Flatbush perimeter, Children’s Corner, and Lakeside.
icon-gears Art & Architecture Tour // FRI, Oct 11, 4pm
Waterways & Wellhouse Tour // SUN, Oct 13, 10:30am
icon-leaf Exploring the East Side Tour // SAT, Oct 26, 1:30pm
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.
icon-calendar Monday, May 27, 2019, 10:30am
icon-clock-o 2.5 hours
icon-map-marker Chelsea Piers, Manhattan
We are hosting a special experience for Jane’s Walks around the perimeter of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. For 165 years, the Yard was a leading naval shipyard, and today it is a city-owned industrial park and a center of manufacturing, technology, and craft, home to over 400 industrial and creative businesses, providing 9,000 jobs for New Yorkers. This walk will trace the Yard’s perimeter, starting at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92, and ending at the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative’s Naval Cemetery Landscape for a celebration of the park’s opening day. Along the way, we will discuss current development and adaptive reuse projects that are boosting the Yard’s workforce to levels not seen since the shipyard’s closure in 1966, and examine what remains of the rich historic landscape of the Yard.
Brooklyn Navy Yard Jane’s Walk
icon-calendar SAT, May 4, 10am
Walking tour (approx. 1 mile)
BLDG 92, Fort Greene, Brooklyn
Brooklyn Designs is a showcase of design, architecture, and art, celebrating the creative energy of the borough. Hosted by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, this year’s design expo will be taking place at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in Building 77, where designers and manufacturers of furniture, lighting, tableware, art, textiles, jewelry and more will be displaying their work.
During the expo, we will be offering guided tours that delve into design and architecture at the Yard, highlighting examples of new development and adaptive reuse, and some of the 400+ businesses in the Yard, including designers, manufacturers, and the Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm. Join the Architecture & Infrastructure Tour to explore the the Yard’s complex built landscape and learn about new projects, or join the Past, Present & Future Tour to get a broad overview of 218 years of work at the Yard. If you want to see the work of Yard businesses up close, join an Inside Industry Tour, which will feature visits to places like New Lab, the Brooklyn Grange, and manufacturing spaces. Use the calendar below to see a full listing of tours.
Brooklyn Designs Tours
icon-calendar Daily tours May 10–12, 2019
Traveller Australia, April 4, 2019
by Traveller Staff
SAVOUR THE FOOD CARTS OF NEW YORK
Hundreds of food carts patrol New York’s streets every day offering cheap, filling feeds with this two-hour tour visiting some of the best. Sample six dishes including Korean short ribs, Mexican quesadillas and Belgian waffles. You’ll get to meet the vendors and understand the challenges of selling food curb-side in the Big Apple.
ESSENTIALS Food Cart Tour of the Financial District, $US48. See turnstiletours.com
>> Read more
CBS New York, February 14, 2019
by John Dias
Some even pop the question in the park. So it doesn’t come as a shock that weddings are popular there, too, and have been since the 1920s. “The first official wedding took place in Prospect Park on June 7, 1923, and that was between Elizabeth Hoyt Senarens and Owen Morton Gunderson,” Turnstile Tours Vice President Andrew Gustafson told Dias.
>> Read more
Brownstoner, January 22, 2019
by Susan De Vries
While the Brooklyn Navy Yard is being transformed with new buildings and uses, during World War II thousands of workers toiled to keep America’s battleships and aircraft carriers ready for the troops. Learn more about the busy shipyard and its role in the war with a winter bus tour around the complex. The tour includes stops where battleships like the USS Arizona and Missouri were launched, ship assembly shops and other significant sites. You’ll also be able to hear stories of what it was like to work on site during the era thanks to audio clips from oral histories of sailors, ship workers and women working industrial jobs.
>> Read more
Bklyner, September 18, 2018
by Robin Kaizer-Schatzlein
Last night author Jennifer Egan was in the green room of the Brooklyn Public Library‘s central branch getting ready to go on stage for a talk about her book Manhattan Beach. She is a self-possessed and open woman with the look and delivery of sharp news anchor. Part of the 2018 Brooklyn Book Festival, the event was a panel discussion with Zaheer Ali of the Brooklyn Historical Society and Meredith Wisner formerly of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, moderated by author Alexis Coe.
>> Read more
Curbed New York, May 3, 2018
by Nathan Kensinger
It’s a strange feeling to be standing in the mud 40 feet below the East River without getting wet. Even stranger is having a 119-foot-tall ship above your head, its 12,000 tons balanced out on a few concrete blocks around you. So it goes every day in the dry docks of the GMD Shipyard, Brooklyn’s last ship repair facility. …
The carpentry shop, surrounded by wooden shims, which used to help support ships resting on the dry dock blocks. During World War II, the Brooklyn Navy Yard was “the world’s busiest shipyard,” according to Turnstile Tours, the yard’s official tour company, and 70,000 workers were employed here “building battleships and aircraft carriers, repairing over 5,000 ships.”
>> Read more