Open House New York Weekend is just over a week away, and with over 300 sites throwing open their doors, some careful planning is required to get the most out of it. We have created a brief thematic guide to some of our favorite sites around the city – especially ones along the waterfront – that you can explore Oct. 18–20.>> Continue reading
Celebrate National Manufacturing Day on Friday, Oct. 4 on a guided tour at the Brooklyn Navy Yard focused on interior design and fabrication The tour will begin with an introduction to the Yard’s story, with an emphasis on the diverse array of products, goods, and objects designed and manufactured on-site over the last two centuries. Next, visitors will walk the 30,000-square-foot factory floor of Ferra Designs, a company that specializes in custom-built architectural metalwork, and visit the studio of textile maker AVO, and speak directly to some of the craftspeople redefining manufacturing and making at the Yard today. This tour is great for anyone interested in art, design, craft, and manufacturing as well as those interested in history and the continued social and economic impact of the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Metalworking and woodworking is one of the largest manufacturing sectors in New York City, but it is eclipsed by food production, processing, and packaging, which employs more than 17,000 New Yorkers. On Oct. 4 we will also be hosting a tour of de Royal Dinges Factory, a commercial kitchen and food truck commissary that produces more than 7,000 waffles daily for Wafels & Dinges, one of the most successful street food businesses in the city (and finalist at this year’s Vendy Awards). Visitors will learn how commissaries work to support the thousands of food carts and trucks around the city, walk through the production line, and even get to put their hands in some dough to make their own authentic Liège wafel.
At the Brooklyn Navy Yard‘s shipyard, operated by GMD, they repair mostly commercial ships, but they also get a fair number of federal government contracts. The shipyard does not repair US Navy combat ships, but we are currently hosting nearly every other federal agency that operates ships, with vessels from the US Coast Guard, Maritime Administration, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, and Military Sealift Command. Right now, a unique MSC ship from the US Navy Oceanographic Office is in dry dock, USNS Pathfinder.>> Continue reading
The Brooklyn Navy Yard Yard is a growing community of food manufacturing businesses. On this tour, go behind the scenes at some of the Yard’s most delicious tenants! Participants will learn about different aspects of food production, distribution, and retail, while sampling treats along the way. In addition, guests will gain a better understanding about the history of theYard and learn more about the 450+ businesses that call the Yard home today. As a bonus, the tour gives visitors amazing views and access to the Yard that is only possible on a tour. Perfect for a Summer Friday outing with colleagues or friends, this new tour is not to be missed!
Taste the Yard Tour
For the first time in 175 years, the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s Timber Shed has emerged from behind a wall, and it is being prepared for a new life. One of the oldest buildings at the Yard, it is one of the few few surviving structures that represents the Yard’s early history of wooden shipbuilding.
Actually, the Timber Shed represents the whole purpose and justification for creating the Navy Yard in the first place. When Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Stoddert purchased 40 acres of land in Brooklyn 1801, he used appropriations for the purchase of timber, claiming that the Navy needed secure places to store it; otherwise, he was just wasting money moving the government-owned timber to the private shipyards that were building the ships. With this creative interpretation of the law, he created six shipyards that would be at the core of the US Navy for the next 160 years. In those other five Navy Yards (Portsmouth, Boston, Philadelphia, Norfolk, Washington), none still have an extant timber shed.>> Continue reading
Queer history is linked to Brooklyn’s diversity, creativity, and vibrancy as a borough, yet this history is often forgotten or overlooked. Join us for this special tour about the queer history of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, co-led by Turnstile Tours and scholar, curator, and author Hugh Ryan, as we discuss his groundbreaking book When Brooklyn was Queer.
This in-depth tour of the Yard’s history will include insights and excerpts from Ryan on queer histories at and around the Yard, from the nineteenth century and through World War II. The experience culminates at the Kings County Distillery’s Sands Street Gatehouses, a street once known for its bars and nightlife that provided rare spaces for expression of queer identities. Hugh Ryan’s meticulous research and engaging storytelling have gained his book much praise, and we are so excited to partner with him on this experience as part of WorldPride2019. Books will be available for purchase and signing.
When Brooklyn Was Queer Tour
For Easter, we shared the story of the military’s war on the Easter Bunny and good-tasting candy, and the role played by Brooklyn’s Rockwood & Company in World War II. In the course of researching that story, we came across another from 1919: The Great Rockwood Chocolate Flood, which occurred 100 years ago today.>> Continue reading
Wallabout Bay is currently hosting a pair of ships that harken back to the days of the New York Naval Shipyard, as a pair of mothballed ships from the James River National Defense Reserve Fleet are visiting, Cape Ann and Cape Avinof.
Created after World War II, when the US had a massive surplus of merchant ships, the NDRF was a way to keep those ships in reserve if another national emergency should arise. Managed by the Maritime Administration (MARAD) and once containing thousands of ships at eight anchorages around the country – including the Hudson River Reserve Fleet in nearby Tarrytown, NY – today the NDRF has only about 50 ships in Beaumont, TX, Suisun Bay, CA, and in the James River near Newport News, VA. While these ships are in various states of repair, requiring weeks or even months of work to be put back into action, MARAD also maintains the Ready Reserve Force, 45 vessels strategically positioned around the country with minimal crews that can be reactivated in just four to 20 days.>> Continue reading
We are hosting a special experience for Jane’s Walks around the perimeter of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. For 165 years, the Yard was a leading naval shipyard, and today it is a city-owned industrial park and a center of manufacturing, technology, and craft, home to over 400 industrial and creative businesses, providing 9,000 jobs for New Yorkers. This walk will trace the Yard’s perimeter, starting at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92, and ending at the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative’s Naval Cemetery Landscape for a celebration of the park’s opening day. Along the way, we will discuss current development and adaptive reuse projects that are boosting the Yard’s workforce to levels not seen since the shipyard’s closure in 1966, and examine what remains of the rich historic landscape of the Yard.
Brooklyn Navy Yard Jane’s Walk
Brooklyn Designs is a showcase of design, architecture, and art, celebrating the creative energy of the borough. Hosted by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, this year’s design expo will be taking place at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in Building 77, where designers and manufacturers of furniture, lighting, tableware, art, textiles, jewelry and more will be displaying their work.
During the expo, we will be offering guided tours that delve into design and architecture at the Yard, highlighting examples of new development and adaptive reuse, and some of the 400+ businesses in the Yard, including designers, manufacturers, and the Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm. Join the Architecture & Infrastructure Tour to explore the the Yard’s complex built landscape and learn about new projects, or join the Past, Present & Future Tour to get a broad overview of 218 years of work at the Yard. If you want to see the work of Yard businesses up close, join an Inside Industry Tour, which will feature visits to places like New Lab, the Brooklyn Grange, and manufacturing spaces. Use the calendar below to see a full listing of tours.
Brooklyn Designs Tours