Cass Gilbert’s New York: Explore the Woolworth Building & Brooklyn Army Terminal

Mosaic in Woolworth Lobby showing figure of Commerce holding a globe

Join us for this special exploration of two of renowned architect Cass Gilbert’s most impressive works: the Woolworth Building and the Brooklyn Army Terminal. This 3-hour guided experience includes a tour led by the experts at Woolworth Tours of the building’s stunning lobby, with its soaring mosaic ceiling, intricate stained glass, and amusing corbel characters. We will then walk through the heart of the Financial District to Pier 11 to board the NYC Ferry to the Brooklyn Army Terminal to explore a building radically different in appearance, design, and function.  This engineering marvel on Brooklyn’s Sunset Park waterfront was built in 1918-1919, serving as a supply base for the American military for nearly 50 years. Today it is home to over 100 companies in industries ranging from precision manufacturers to biotech researchers, online retailers to chocolatiers. 

Public Tours

icon-calendar  Select SAT, 1:15pm
  3 hours
icon-male  icon-anchor  Walking & Ferry
  Woolworth Building, Lower Manhattan

The Pickabacks, Unsung Heroes of D-Day

Operation Neptune, the seaborne component of the Normandy invasion, required nearly 6,500 vessels to deliver the vast Allied armies and their supplies and equipment onto the continental beaches. This didn’t just include warships and landing craft, but also more mundane vessels, like barges.

Allied planners scoured the British Isles for craft of any kind to use in the invasion, and they encountered a major shortage of large barges, capable of carrying 1,000 tons or more, and with a draft of less than six feet. Enough simply could not be found or built. Barges of this size were too large to load onto the decks of even the largest transports, and too fragile to tow across the stormy North Atlantic. So in February 1944, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower sent an urgent message to Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall asking for a solution.>> Continue reading

Joining the Fleet Week Parade of Ships

Since Fleet Week returned to New York City after a sequestration-imposed hiatus in 2013, I have watched the annual parade of ships from underneath the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which gives you a good vantage point on the Navy and Coast Guard vessels as they pass through the channel into the Upper Bay. This year, however, I got the opportunity to actually be in the parade thanks to the New York Council of the Navy League.>> Continue reading

Fundraiser for Sunset Park Fire Victims

A brick apartment building on fire with the street sign 44th street in the foreground

On the afternoon of Wednesday, April 3, a fire broke out at 702 44th St, an apartment building in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, leaving more than 100 people homeless. The community has rallied to provide assistance to these families, and the local Business Improvement District has set up a GoFundMe campaign for them – please consider donating.

On Saturday, April 6, we are hosting our regular Brooklyn Army Terminal Tour but this week we will be donating 100% of all ticket sales to the fire victims. So please join us – we will put special focus on the Army Terminal’s long history of providing aid and refuge to victims of war and disaster, from the 1928 Puerto Rico Hurricane to the Andrea Doria sinking to the September 11 Boatlift.>> Continue reading

Eating Around the Brooklyn Army Terminal

A chicken taco with red and green sauce, cilantro, radishes, and a lime in a styrofoam container

Located on the border of Sunset Park and Bay Ridge, the Brooklyn Army Terminal is nearby to many options for brunch, lunch, or a drink before or after your tour. If you like Mediterranean food, head to Bay Ridge for Lebanese standout Tanoreen or grab take-out from the Family Store. Industry City offers a host of food options seven days a week, including a food hall and Japan Village, or try a craft beverage at Brooklyn Kura Sake or the nearby Five Boroughs Brewing. Sunset Park is second-to-none in New York City for Mexican food along 4th and 5th Avenues, including Tacos El Bronco (which has a restaurant and a food truck), Tacos Matamoros, El Maguey, and Rosa’s Bakery. Or you can head up the hill a few blocks to 8th Avenue, Brooklyn’s Chinatown, where we recommend weekend dim sum at East Harbor or noodle bowls at Yun Nan Flavor Garden. Click the map below for more information.  >> Continue reading

Take NYC Ferry to the Brooklyn Army Terminal

One of the fastest and easiest ways to get to our Brooklyn Army Terminal Tours is to take the NYC Ferry, which has two routes that stop there. The Rockaway route will take you there non-stop from Wall St-Pier 11 in just 20 minutes, or direct from Rockaway-Beach 108th St in 30 minutes. The South Brooklyn route runs between Wall St and Bay Ridge-69th St, with stops in Dumbo, Atlantic Ave, Red Hook, and the Brooklyn Army Terminal. Tickets are just $2.75 (though you cannot use a Metrocard on NYC Ferry – download the handy app instead), and the boats feature snacks, beer and wine, and of course, spectacular views of the city. Remember to check the schedule, and keep in mind that the Rockaway Ferry can get extremely crowded on summer weekends, so be sure to arrive early if coming from Wall St.

Brooklyn Army Terminal, Pier 4 // More Info

Bush Terminal Park

Bush Terminal Park is a secluded natural space in the industrial section of Sunset Park, built on the footprint of the abandoned piers of the old Bush Terminal shipping port. This waterfront park offers spectacular views of Lower Manhattan and the State of Liberty, and a unique opportunity to actually get close to the waterfront, with walking paths, tidal pools, and restored wetlands. The park also offers paths for walking, jogging, and cycling, as well as fields for soccer and baseball. The park is a short walk from the Brooklyn Army Terminal, and if you’re entering through the 43rd St entrance, be sure to stop by the monument to Irving T. Bush, founder of the Bush Terminal and instrumental figure in the building of the Army Terminal.

Entrances on 1st Ave at 43rd St & 50th St // Public Park // More Info

Pete’s Brooklyn Eats at the Brooklyn Army Terminal

Pete’s Brooklyn Eats has been feeding the hungry workers of the Brooklyn Army Terminal for years. Run by the Macaluso family, they serve up pizza, pasta, salads, sandwiches, desserts, and more with friendly service and at an affordable price. The restaurant is located in the lobby of Building B and is currently open Monday–Friday. We can offer weekday tour packages of the Army Terminal that include a seated lunch, with space for up to 90 guests – contact us for menus and pricing.

Brooklyn Army Terminal Building B // Italian Restaurant // More Info

Brooklyn Kura Sake Brewery at Industry City

Brooklyn Kura

Brooklyn Kura is demystifying sake and making it more accessible by brewing it right here in New York City, hand-crafted with the highest quality ingredients. Located inside Industry City in Sunset Park, the tap room offers a rotating menu of sakes on draft, along with tap room-exclusive varieties like shiboritate, moromi and orizake, and light snacks including cheese, charcuterie, and nori. The tap room is currently open Friday–Sunday, so it’s a great place to visit after a after Brooklyn Army Terminal Tour.

68 34th St // Sake Brewery & Tap Room // More Info

The Photo That Inspired NYC’s Merchant Mariners’ Memorial

On June 9, 2018, Reinhard Hardegen, the last surviving German submarine commander of World War II, died at the age of 105. With his passing, he joins the ghosts of American merchant mariners who still haunt Manhattan’s Battery Park.

Dedicated in 1991, the American Merchant Mariners’ Memorial was created by sculptor Marisol Escobar as tribute to the 9,000+ American Merchant Marine sailors killed in the war. The Merchant Marine provided a vital service to the war effort, shipping troops and supplies across some of the deadliest seas in the world. American mariners received fire from the enemy, and they returned fire, as many merchant vessels were armed, while suffering the highest casualty rate of any service branch in World War II.>> Continue reading