Brooklyn Navy Yard: Past, Present & Future Walking Tour

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 On this two-hour walking tour, we will explore the Yard’s rich naval and labor history, through examining historical documents, listening to oral histories from workers and sailors, and visiting historic buildings, including Civil War-era machine shops, the Yard’s museum and visitor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.

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Brooklyn Navy Yard: World War II Tour

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.

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Brooklyn Navy Yard: Architecture & Infrastructure Tour

A tall glass office building on a pier next to NYC ferries in a wet berth with ship repair cranes and the Williamsburg Bridge in the background

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.

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Brooklyn Army Terminal Tour

View of the metal frames that span the two sides of Building B, a massive concrete industrial building with an atrium at the center that opens to the sky.

Step inside an engineering marvel that is today a center of manufacturing and innovation. Built in 1918-1919, this enormous Cass Gilbert-designed complex served as a supply base for the American military for nearly 50 years. Today, this thriving industrial park is home to over 100 companies in industries ranging from precision manufacturers to biotech researchers, online retailers to chocolatiers. Our walking tours explore how this teeming military transportation hub operated, and how these facilities are put to use today. All tours are offered in partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation.

Tours accessible by NYC Ferry to the Sunset Park / BAT stop (South Brooklyn, Rockaway routes).

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Prospect Park Tour

Guide Andrew Gustafson standing on stone steps in the Prospect Park Ravine forest, yellow leaves on the ground, pointing.

Discover hidden treasures, natural wonders and little-known tales on these interactive guided tours of Prospect Park in the heart of Brooklyn, presented by Turnstile Tours in partnership with Prospect Park Alliance. While taking in the beauty of this iconic park’s woodlands, waterways, wildlife, and landmarks, explore the fascinating layers of natural and human history, from the flora and geology, to the architectural eras visible in the built environment, to the past and present of recreation and play. Explore how use of the park has changed over time, from the original vision of designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, to projects underway today that support environmental conservation, historic preservation, and recreational and cultural access for Brooklynites and visitors from around the world.

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Food Cart Tours

Try some of New York City’s best street food, and learn how food offers an amazing window into the life of a city and its neighborhoods and people. On our Food Cart Tours of Manhattan’s Financial District and Midtown, we introduce visitors and lifelong New Yorkers alike to the amazing tastes and stories of the city’s street vendor community, offering the opportunity to not only taste amazing dishes from all over the world cooked up on the sidewalk, but also to get an insider’s perspective on the industry. 

Tour Info


 FRI 12pm & 7pm
 2 hours
 Walking tour
 Adults: $60
 Midtown or FiDi

Food Cart Tour: Street Vending After Dark

As night falls on the sidewalks of New York, street vendors continue to fill the streets, offering some of the best food in the city, as well as art, souvenirs, and other merchandise. On our Street Vending After Dark tour, we introduce visitors and locals alike to the amazing flavors, creations and stories of the city’s street vending community, while discussing the ins and outs of the industry. We’ll chat with vendors while admiring their wares, devouring incredible food from around the world, and discussing how they navigate the challenges of being a street vendor in NYC. On this two-hour walking and tasting tour, we’ll stop at five different businesses to indulge in tastings of late-night classics like chicken over rice, kati rolls, tacos, and maybe even a New York hot dog. And we will visit street artists, booksellers, and clothing merchants, and gain an insider’s perspective into this complex industry.

Tour Info


 FRI 7pm
 2 hours
 Walking tour
 Adults: $60
 Midtown

Essex Market Tours

The first and second floors of the Essex Market with a historic neon sign from the Orchard Essex Meat Market

This tasting exploration showcases the vendors of the Lower East Side’s Essex Market, founded in 1940 and now housed in a new, bustling facility home to over 40 vendors. This 90-minute walking and tasting tour visits 5–6 vendors, with generous tastings that may include top-quality olive oils, tacos, empanadas, fresh-baked breads, hearty soups, and a selection of cheeses and charcuterie. Along the way, we will explore the past and present of New York City’s public market system, from open-air pushcart markets, to the retail and wholesale network built by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, to markets’ role today providing quality food to communities and creating opportunities for food entrepreneurs to launch and grow new businesses.

Tour Info


 SELECT SUN 12pm
 1.5 hours
 Walking tour
 Adults: $75
 Lower East Side

AIANY Around Manhattan Architecture Boat Tours

Upcoming Tours led by Andrew Gustafson:

  • Monday, August 1, 1:15pm
  • Thursday, August 4, 12:15pm
  • Monday, August 22, 12:45pm
  • Tuesday, August 23, 12:45pm
  • Wednesday, August 31, 12:45pm

Explore NYC’s new and enduring architecture, engineering marvels, and the revitalized waterfront from the teak decks of Classic Harbor Line’s elegant motor yachts. Hosted by the guides of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter, this 2 hour and 45 minute circumnavigation tour offers insightful narration about the city’s built environment, from the Hudson and the Battery to the Hell Gate and Spuyten Duyvil. The story of NYC’s development is described as a broad overview for visitors, yet includes deeper insights to satisfy knowledgeable locals and architecture and design professionals. Learn about architectural icons and new and alluring sites, including Little Island at Pier 55, the mega-project Hudson Yards, and the continuing ascent of “supertall” luxury residential towers. Turnstile’s Andrew Gustafson is now part of the AIANY team leading these tours, and you can find his schedule above (subject to change), or join any of the wonderful AIANY boat tours with their engaging and knowledgeable guides.