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.
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.
Join us for a walk through the historic streets of DUMBO as we explore how the water has shaped New York City, and vice versa. Starting at the Brooklyn Historical Society’s DUMBO location, housed inside the renovated 1869 Empire Stores building, we will introduce you to their exhibition Waterfront, which chronicles Brooklyn’s long and complex history along 131 miles of coastline. We will then step out to explore the landscape of DUMBO and how it was built on innovation and hard labor, We will hear stories of both the captains of industry and ordinary workers who built Brooklyn. We will also explore the deindustrialization of Brooklyn, and the remaking of DUMBO into one of New York City’s most desirable neighborhoods, a commercial and residential district ringed by parkland where piers and factories once stood.
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.
Every year during Fleet Week, and on special occasions and holidays, Turnstile Tours partners with Classic Harbor Line to offer boat cruises about the military history of New York Harbor, especially during World War II. Starting from Chelsea Piers, this 2.5-hour cruise aboard one of their beautiful motor yacht features visits to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brooklyn Army Terminal, and USS Intrepid, as well as other historic and military sites along the New Jersey and Brooklyn shores. Along the way, we share the stories of sailors, shipbuilders, longshoremen and merchant mariners who built New York Harbor into the heart of the American war effort.
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 6-8 vendors, with generous tastings that may include top-quality olive oils, tacos, empanadas, fresh-baked breads, handmade chocolates, 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 LaGuardia, to markets’ role today providing quality food to communities and creating opportunities for food entrepreneurs to launch and grow new businesses.
From farms to pushcarts to public markets, this 2-hour walking and tasting tour explores historical aspects of New York’s food system and the influence of Caribbean and Latin American cultures and cuisines on the past and present of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Once known for its pickles and kosher meat, today the eastern section of Williamsburg serves up herbal tea remedies from Mexico, sounds of salsa, and traditional ingredients. Based on more than 20 oral history interviews with neighborhood residents and local business owners, and on original archival research, this tour explores the history of Brooklyn’s “Avenue of Puerto Rico” and takes an in-depth look at the Moore Street Market, built in 1941 to mark the end of the pushcart era and today a centerpiece of the Spanish-speaking community. The tour includes 6-8 generous tastings from market vendors and local eateries.