The Brooklyn Navy Yard recently launched a public art exhibit with the theme Atmosphere for Invention, which reflects both the site’s history and its inventive spirit today. This live virtual program will visit the studios of artists Jackie Meier, Paul Campbell, and Tracy Wuischpard, who will be joined by curator Carli Beseau, and they will share how they created works of public art that foster healing, beauty, regeneration, and community.
For NYC x Design Architecture Day, we’re taking a closer look at one of the most recent adaptive reuse projects of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Building 127. Constructed in 1904 for fabricating wooden boats, the 95,000-square-foot building recently underwent a full gut renovation, and its high ceilings, large windows, and uncolumned spaces made it ideal for repurposing for design and manufacturing businesses. We will be joined by architect Rosario D’Urso, Construction Project Manager at BNYDC, who will walk us through the project and discuss how their team brought this historic building back to life.
Celebrate NYC x Design Interior Design Day with a virtual visit to Bednark Studio, a vertically-integrated design and fabrication company that specializes in retail environments, experiential marketing, and architectural millwork. Based in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Bednark is a custom fabricator with manufacturing capabilities in wood, plastic, metal, print, and integrated lighting. On this virtual tour, we will be joined by founder Michael Bednark, who will walk us through their 65,000-square-foot shop and discuss their process, capabilities, and a selection of their 3,000+ premium projects for local clients and global brands including Balenciaga, Nike, and St. Germain.
On National Submarine Day, dive into the undersea history of the Brooklyn Navy Yard! Although no submarines were ever built at the Yard, from the Civil War to the Cold War, it was a critical facility for the development, testing, and outfitting of the US Navy’s submarine fleet, from primitive hand-cranked submersibles to nuclear-powered ballistic missile subs. This program will explore the evolution of submarine technology and critical breakthroughs that were made at the Yard, including the development of diesel engines from captured German U-boats, experimental torpedoes and underwater munitions, and the world’s first satellite-based navigation system.
- National Guard Militia Museum of New Jersey – Intelligent Whale
- Dubbs, Chris, America’s U-boats: Terror Trophies of World War I
- Submarine E-2 explosion, 1916
- Update on the status of USS Ling
Join this free family program with Brooklyn Public Library’s Brooklyn Cultural Adventures Program.
This interactive virtual tour will stream live to the factory floor of IceStone in the Brooklyn Navy Yard! We’ll meet IceStone’s Marketing Director Ashon McCollin and he will show us how people, machines, and processes come together at their factory to transform 100% recycled glass into countertops. This program will be hosted by Turnstile Tours in partnership with the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at Building 92, IceStone, and the Brooklyn Cultural Adventures Program.
Explore the neighborhoods surrounding the Brooklyn Navy Yard, including Vinegar Hill, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, and Williamsburg, on this walk around the Yard’s long perimeter. We will explore connections between the Yard and the surrounding communities, including a peek at the landmark Commandant’s House, the Prison Ship Martyrs’ Monument in Fort Greene Park, and other buildings that provided housing for Yard workers and produced components for the shipyard. We will also explore some of the public areas of the Yard, including Building 77, the Admirals Row site, and the Naval Cemetery Landscape. Follow along with our map guide created for Open House New York Weekend 2020.
As both an historic site and an active industrial park, with buildings and infrastructure spanning nearly 200 years, the Brooklyn Navy Yard is literally made up of layers of history. The Brooklyn Navy Yard Archives serves the dual function of documenting and preserving the Yard’s history, while also providing historical engineering and architectural documentation that is critical for restoration and development projects. In this virtual visit to the Archives, we will be joined by archivist Elizabeth McGorty, who will tell us about the role of the Archives, show us some of the highlights of the collection and what they tell us about the Yard’s history, and take us behind the scenes to their storage facility where they keep some of the more unique artifacts of the collection.
- Brooklyn Navy Yard Archives
- Archives Collections
- Naval History and Heritage Command
- National Museum of the US Navy
- National Personnel Records Center (NARA St. Louis)
On March 17, 1863, the gunboat Shamrock was launched from the Brooklyn Navy Yard, an event attended by more than 5,000 onlookers and tremendous fanfare. The christening of this ship was meant to recognize the contributions of Irish troops to the Union cause, but it also represented a watershed moment during the ascendancy of the Irish in the city’s waterfront trades. This program will examine the growth of Irish communities along the waterfront before and after the Civil War, look at the centers of civic life, including churches, pubs, and political clubs, some of which persist to this day, and learn about groundbreaking Irish admirals, engineers, and entrepreneurs that helped shape the city’s waterfront.
- Immigrants Who Made the Brooklyn Navy Yard Great: John Barry
- WATCH: Waterfront Workers: Finding the Harkins Family with Julie Golia
- Kings County Distillery
- “The Whiskey Wars That Left Brooklyn in Ruins” (Smithsonian)
- Betancourt, Marian, Heroes of New York Harbor: Tales from the City’s Port
Food manufacturing has been a cornerstone of Brooklyn’s manufacturing economy for 150 years. Not only was the borough was home to some of the largest chocolate and confectionary makers in the country, but its port brought the tropical ingredients from around the globe. We will discuss some of the large and small chocolate makers that dotted Brooklyn’s landscape, the men and women who worked in them, and the transformations brought to the industry by mechanization, unionization, and war. We will also look at some of the artisanal chocolate makers that are keeping the confectionary traditions alive today.
- The Easter Bunny Goes to War
- The 1919 Brooklyn Chocolate Flood
- Jacques Torres Chocolate
- “Brooklyn’s JoMart Chocolates” (New York Times)
- “Mexican Family Gives Brooklyn Mole Poblano Flavor” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)
- History of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco, and Grain Millers International Union
- Chocolate Manufacturing in World War I (National Archives)
- “Origin of a Dish: Brooklyn Blackout Cake” (Sarah Lohman)
- “City OK with Loss of Cocoa Port” (Brooklyn Paper)
- MRE & Ration Reviews (YouTube)
The celebrate Black History Month and the 220th birthday at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, we are looking at the obstacles and opportunities that Black people encountered at the Brooklyn Navy Yard from the end of the Civil War through the Yard’s closure a century later. The program will examine the long history of African-Americans in the maritime trades, their systematic exclusion from the uniformed ranks of the US Navy in the Jim Crow era, and the new opportunities that emerged during World War II. We will look at profiles of trailblazers, innovators, and activists who worked and served there, and how the Yard became an important to Black economic and cultural life in Brooklyn. This virtual program follows up where we left off with last year’s “An Unfree Fleet,” which looked at the Yard’s connections to the institution of slavery.
- WATCH An Unfree Fleet: Slavery and the Brooklyn Navy Yard
- African-American Maritime Heritage – PortSide NewYork
- The Monitor’s Crew – Monitor Center
- Brooklyn Navy Yard – John Sharp, Genealogy Trails
- The Brooklyn Navy Yard: Civil Servants Building Warships – John Stobo, Columbia University
- Phyllis Mae Dailey, the Navy’s first African-American nurse
- Robert Hammond oral history (Center for Brooklyn History)
- Clark J. Simmons oral history (National Park Service)
- Bolster, Jeffrey W., Black Jacks (Archive.org)
- Harrod, Frederick S., Manning the New Navy (Archive.org)
- Hodges, Graham Russell, Root and Branch (Archive.org)
- Peterson, Carla L., Black Gotham
- Stillwell, Paul, The Golden Thirteen (Archive.org)