In colonial New York, reliable power came from muscles (human and animal), firewood, and tides. From Spuyten Duyvil to Marine Park, Wallabout Bay to Flushing Bay, settlers turned many tidal marshes across New York’s vast estuary into millponds to run machinery as the water ebbed. In this virtual program, Brad Vogel of the Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club and the Tide Mill Institute will share examples of this green energy from the past.
Concrete may seem like an odd material for shipbuilding, but during World War I, severe shortages of steel led to this innovation. Devised by Norwegian immigrants the Fougner brothers, they built one of the first such ships in the US at their shipyard in Flushing, Queens. The technology reached its apex during World War II, when the US built over 100 ships and barges, and they were used as freighters, tankers, and even floating ice cream factories. Large-scale concrete shipbuilding is a thing of the past, but we will examine the fates of these wartime ships, and discuss many examples of concrete boatbuilding today.
The fastest way to the beach is on the NYC Ferry, so join us for another virtual boat tour as we cruise the Lower New York Bay. We will pick up the ferry in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, then make our way under the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, past Coney Island, and down to the Rockaways. Along the way, we will discuss the forts and islands that used to protect the harbor, the history of recreation along the city’s Atlantic seaboard, and the rich aquatic life of Jamaica Bay and the New York Bight. At the end of the tour, we’ll take a walk across the Rockaway Peninsula and virtually stroll along the beach.
Join artist Tatiana Arocha for a virtual visit and artmaking workshop live from her studio at the Brooklyn Navy Yard! We will see how she incorporates plants, seeds, and other natural materials into her mural making process, while drawing inspiration from plants and animals in the rainforest in her native country of Colombia. Recommended materials to have ready for the program include paper, crayons or pencils, dirt in a cup, a leaf, seeds, and some small rocks.
Take a behind-the-scenes virtual tour of Russ & Daughters’ Appetizing Factory at the Brooklyn Navy Yard! We’ll hear the story of how this iconic New York business was started over a hundred years ago by a pushcart peddler on the streets of the Lower East Side and step inside their bakery to see how they make bagels, babka, black and white cookies, and other appetizing delicacies!
Behind the gates of the Brooklyn Navy Yard lies a network of streets that are a mystery to most New Yorkers. Named for naval heroes, shipyard operations, and even a numbered grid, these streets trace the Yard’s history from the War of 1812 through World War II. While new attention has been given to how and whom we memorialize in our public places and streets, we will unpack the stories of the people behind these street names as we virtually walk through the history of the Yard.
New York Harbor is bustling with boats every day, making it perfect for ship spotting, a hobby that involves seeing, learning about, and tracking ships as they come and go. The Brooklyn Navy Yard is a great place to see all kinds of ships, including ferries, fireboats, tugboats, and even oyster tenders! During this program, our expert ship spotting guide will share some tips and tools to help us learn more about the boats we see in the harbor. We’ll also visit with a NYC Ferry captain who will show us around the wheelhouse and the controls they use to operate the boat each day.
How did people print newspapers and books before the age of computers? Join this virtual program to learn about the history of printing technology with Woodside Press at the Brooklyn Navy Yard! We’ll virtually visit their workshop, which is like stepping back in time, and see how they use tools and machinery that are over a hundred years old that still work great today. We will share tips for how children and families can do their own printmaking at home using paper, paint, potatoes, cauliflower, and other objects.
Earlier this month, Boom Technology announced that United Airlines planned to purchase its Overture supersonic airliner, which they hope to bring into service by the end of the decade. If successful, it will begin the first supersonic passenger service since the retirement of Concorde in 2003. Though a monumental engineering achievement, Concorde was always a star-crossed money-loser, facing technical challenges, high operating costs, and local opposition to its ear-splitting noise. This program will look at the airplane’s development, its controversial arrival in New York in 1977, its 26 years of New York service, and its return to the city as a part of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Hosted by Andrew Gustafson, he will also show some of his collection of Concorde memorabilia, gathered mostly by his father on 60+ lifetime flights.
Built on the footprint of the piers and warehouses of the historic Bush Terminal, Bush Terminal Park provided much-needed green space and waterfront access to the Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood when it opened in 2014. Join us for a virtual walk through the 22-acre park, which offers remnants of the site’s maritime and manufacturing history, unique engineered tide pools and a wild-growing forest, and unparalleled views of the harbor and skyline.