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.
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.
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.
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.
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.