For 165 years, the Brooklyn Navy Yard built some of America’s most famous fighting ships, from sailing frigates to aircraft carriers. Today, the Yard is home to hundreds manufacturing, technology, and creative businesses, providing thousands of jobs to New Yorkers across a wide range of industries. We offer a variety of theme-based tours about history, architecture, industry, and more, so there are many ways to discover what’s behind the walls of the Brooklyn Navy Yard by bicycle, bus, and on foot. All tours are offered in partnership with the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation.
Explore the past, present, and future of the Brooklyn Navy Yard on this guided walking tour of this historic and dynamic waterfront site. Founded in 1801, the Yard was once the nation’s premier naval shipyard, building, repairing, and outfitting vessels from the War of 1812 through the Cold War. Today, the Yard’s historic industrial landscape has been repurposed to support 450+ businesses that employ over 11,000 people in manufacturing, technology, and skilled crafts. On this two-hour walking tour, we will explore the Yard’s rich naval and labor history, through examining historical documents, listening to oral histories from workers and sailors, and visiting historic buildings, including Civil War-era machine shops, the Yard’s museum and visitor center at BLDG 92, and a working dry dock still used today for ship repair. We will also learn about the Yard’s business ecosystem, community programs, and workforce development today, and the future plans for the Yard’s development.
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.
Once America’s premier Naval shipyard, today the Brooklyn Navy Yard is a mission-driven industrial park and a hub of industry, technology, and craft. Explore the Navy Yard’s unique architecture and examine the many layers of history visible in the landscape, from Civil War-era machine shops to innovative LEED-Certified structures, and see how these buildings have been adapted for modern manufacturing. Learn about development projects currently underway at the Yard, which is undergoing its largest expansion since World War II. This tour showcases the role the Brooklyn Navy Yard plays in providing economic opportunities for thousands of New Yorkers, from small business owners to manufacturing workers to technology startups, and looks at the infrastructure that keeps the Yard – and all of New York City – running, including stormwater management, solid waste, and alternative energy systems. The tour covers most of the massive 300-acre campus, including visits to the still-active 1851 Dry Dock No. 1, the one-million-square-foot World War II-era Building 77, the sites of the Admiral’s Row and Dock 72 projects, and the LEED Platinum-certified Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92.
Discover the natural world in the midst an industrial park on this 2-hour tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where we will explore waterways, meadows, and urban farms. The highlight is a visit to the stunning Brooklyn Grange rooftop farm, where we will learn how they produce thousands of pounds of vegetables annually and are a national leader in the development of rooftop and urban farming techniques. The tour will also visit an oyster restoration project led by students from the New York Harbor School, and the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative‘s Naval Cemetery Landscape.