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.
This two-hour guided tour is a great introduction to the rich history and modern industry of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Founded in 1801, the Yard served as one of America’s premiere naval shipyards for 165 years. Today, it is a city-owned industrial park and a center of manufacturing, technology, and craft, home to over 330 industrial and creative businesses. This tour gives you 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 by the year 2020.
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.
This 90-minute guided tour takes you inside the workshops, factories, and studios of the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s manufacturing, creative, and technology businesses. This tour is an immersive look at how things are still made in New York City, with a rotating selection of participating businesses, making everything from furniture to space suits, robots to letterpress printing. Visitors have the opportunity to see things being made and meet and ask questions of business owners and staff. The second Friday of each month features a special visit to New Lab, a technology hardware prototyping space that is home to more than 50 companies.
Explore the rich and unique architecture of the Brooklyn Navy Yard on this guided tour by bus or bicycle. Take a closer look at the many layers of history visible in the landscape, from Civil War-era machine shops to innovative LEED-Certified structures, and how these buildings have been adapted for modern industry. Learn about development projects currently underway at the Yard, including Building 77, Admiral’s Row, and the Green Manufacturing Center, and the infrastructure that keeps the Yard – and all of New York City – running.
Hop on your bike and take a ride through 300 acres of history, industry, architecture, and nature on our monthly Brooklyn Navy Yard Bicycle Tours. Each month, we will offer tours on a different theme, including our classic Past, Present & Future Tour, World War II Tour, Architecture & Infrastructure Tour, and the Urban Ecology Tour. Each tour will have a slightly different route, but highlights include the historic Dry Dock No. 1, the newly-renovated Building 77, and many examples of historic buildings repurposed for modern industry. This is a great way to see another side of one of New York City’s most intriguing waterfront sites. All participants must provide their own bicycle.
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.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard is a fascinating visual tapestry buildings spanning 200+ years of history, of natural landscapes and waterfront vistas amid a thriving industrial park. These photography tours provide opportunities for the public to come out with their cameras and capture some of the most visually striking outdoor sites of the Yard. Highlights include the World War II-era pier with views of the Manhattan skyline and an historic dry dock still used for ship repair today. Unlike our other bus and bike tours, tour guides will provide limited content and instead offer extended opportunities for visitors to shoot the diverse industrial and natural landscapes of the Yard.