Brooklyn Navy Yard

Brooklyn Navy Yard is the only active shipyard in NYC. In 1966, the yard was finally sold to the city by the Nixon Administration. At it’s in peak over 70,000 were employed 24 hours a day during WWII. The yard sits in Wallabout Basin in the East River.


After the American Revolution the site was used to build merchant vessels. In 1801, the Federal Government purchased the old docks and 40 acres for $40,000. It became an active US Navy shipyard. Handmade bricks were used to build the offices, barracks and storehouses.



Admiral’s Row housed many naval officers for over a century. In the 1970s, their use was discontinued. Sadly, they will be demolished for a parking lot. Yup, you read that right – a parking lot for Wegman’s supermarket. I’d would have felt better it the land was used for mixed income housing but a parking lot. Sigh. You can check out Admiral’s Row here.




To gain access to Brooklyn Navy Yard you have to be on a tour. It’s an active commercial site so you can’t just wander around. Turnstile Tours is one of my favorite tour companies. They give you a unique insight to the city.



USS Ohio, Dolphin, Peacock, Savannah, Vincennes, Fulton II, Decatur, San Jacinto, and Niagara were Navy Yard built and were used to suppress the trade of slaves off the coast of Africa from 1820-1861. This came about when a US law in 1820 made slave trading piracy punishable by death.




On this particular weekend, we got a bonus. We were given tickets to Bettina WitteVeen photographic exhibit “When we were Soldiers…once and young (WWWS). It was shown inside the abandoned Navy Yard Hospital and we weren’t allowed to take pictures. It was torture to not be able to take pics of the building. The hospital came to being in 1825 when the Secretary of Navy bought the adjacent 25 acres to the Naval Yard. They staffed some of the first female nurses and medical students in the US Navy. You can check the exhibit out here.





I’m glad we got to see the hospital. Steiner Studios, a film and television studio is one of the yards most well known tenants. They will be restoring the building and constructing additional space for tech and media purposes.


In 1966, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara closed the yard. At the time is employed 9,000 workers. Today its the oldest continually active industrial plant in NY State.



More than 200 businesses operate in the yard and around 5000 are employed. Many artists lease space and established Brooklyn Navy Yard Arts. The yard is home to the world’s largest green roof farm, Brooklyn Grange Farm.


It was a pretty neat experience even though it doesn’t look like much. Growing up, I had a view of the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges from my apartment and I always wondered what was on the other side. It’s nice seeing that old industries are giving way to new. Next time I will go on the WWII history tour.


The views are amazing from the Navy Yard. I can see my mom’s building from here.


17 thoughts on “Brooklyn Navy Yard

  1. I’ll look up Turnstile Tours the next time I’m in NYC, which will be around Christmas. My kids and I are always looking for something unusual to do besides the usual visit to Times Square and Rockefeller Center. 🙂


      That’s kind of far. I think 2-2.5hrs from our place in Brooklyn. We plan on going if we get a lift from our cousin. Very curious and I’m a Christmas nut.
      This can be done without tour but a tour may make it easier to get around. The grandkid may like it.

      Turnstile tours are neat. They have a food truck tour – we haven’t done this one. just the navy yard and Brooklyn army terminal. We enjoyed the tours with history in it. The photo tour was because you get extra time in the area but we missed hearing their stories. Their tours wouldn’t be good for kids. Some areas won,t be safe in the industrial areas.

      Have you seen the train show at NY botanical garden? Its really nice. It seemed like it was more about the model structures and they were nice. If you can try and go on a weekday. It was so crowded.

      1. My younger daughter suggested we go to the Botanical Garden for the train show! 😀We may end up going after Christmas Day because we won’t be all together until the 24th. I wonder if it’ll be as crowded then: I’ve noticed that there are tons of tourists in NYC after Christmas, probably because they’re like us, in town to see family.

        You’ll have to tell us about your trip to the Christmas Village! It’s unlikely we’ll travel to PA in the winter. No car and my kids are risk averse. 😕

      2. The train show is fun! I loved it but it was so crowded. But still worth it! We went on a terribly cold day. We took metro north up and our train got stuck when we were going back home. Our train needed 2 rescue trains. It was pretty funny (guess not at that time we were pretty hungry). It’s a great time to go shopping. Everything goes on sale after Christmas 🙂

    1. Hi! Nice to see your posts again 🙂 Makes us want to go on vacation now. It’s been a long couple months for us.

      Yes! For years I wondered what was across the river. Can sort of see it from my mom’s place.

      1. Won’t be traveling much. Our next trip is to Charleston, SC in Jan for 3 nights. A quick getaway. We are planning on heading to St Lucia in April. We want a nice relaxing trip full of beaches and trees.

        My French friend is coming back in July/August as well. We plan on going to Montreal and Quebec with them. That will be nice. Of course our quickie Philly getaways will always be here. I could go for another grill cheese sandwich thinking about that city.

        No plans for Xmas./ My family – we are lazy so we all go out to eat instead of cooking. Have most my shopping done. Normally I’m in full Xmas mode but our spring like weather is killing it. Haven’t gotten my tree yet. You guys have any Xmas plans?

      2. I know the weather is not very xmassy ! Here it’s quite cold-ish, but it still feel like it’s autumn rather than winter. He is working the xmas shift at the hospital, and I will be back to Belgium to see my friends and family. I’m almost done with all the gifts !

        Oh St Lucia sounds nice !

      3. My god, hearing hospital or anything health related makes me envy any country with socialized medicine. My mom is having some health issues we need to address and she’s getting terminated from Medicaid next week because she makes too much at her temp job which provides coverage for only doctors and some meds not tests no nothing. I was extremely scared if we needed more testing and treatments but my boss had me contact a guy that helped her with her health insurance stuff. I don’t understand Americans that are against socialized healthcare. Fucking morons that’s all they are to me and I know a lot of people against it. Sorry, it’s been a long year since Mid October. My boss’ contact found a plan where the deadline is Dec 24 for active coverage starts Jan 1. Whew. That probably hasn’t help with the holidays. My grandma passed suddenly too in mid Oct. A lot to settle there too. It’s been crazy. Hence our need for a beach trip or something nature related where we can be lazy.

        Saw your FB jewelry page. Ever ship to the US? There are some earrings I think a friend would like.

      4. I found the US healthcare extremely scary. I also don’t understand why they are against it, because it’s less stressful. So why exactly are they against it ?

        I’m sorry to hear about your grandma. It has been a tough end of the year for you. I hope 2016 will be better. Big hugs.

        I can ship to the US, postage can vary from £3,15 (100g) to £5 (250g) or £7.70 (500g) depending on the weight for International standard shipping (not tracked, not signed). I find shipping costs ridiculously expensive (even within the UK or towards Europe). Is it as bad in the US ?

      5. Cost are kind of high for shipping but it depends what carrier. We hate our mail carriers. We had to rent a UPS box because our packages kept getting stolen! It’s almost $300 for a year but it’s the best purchase ever. They would leave packages in our lobby -0n we live on the 6th floor and they wold be gone. They say they are delivered on the tracking number and it never was. They either kept it or lost it. Now that we rent the box. Problem solved. Sometimes we use to wait home all day and they never rang the bell! Vic and I never had these mail problems when we lived at home w our parents.

        Where do I order from? Are you on etsy?

        We have been looking over buying my mom her own health insurance plan. I think it’s tax deductible but at the moment she has to pay out of pocket $470 a month for a deductible plan. That’s a lot of money but I am grateful we found something. If Obama didn’t pass that law, she would be paying even more a month or even be denied coverage. We are going to have to figure it out because if you don’t pay that – this country, to not be insured, you can loose everything trying to get medical care. Everything. I understand why the rich are against it but I don’t understand why any other class would be against it. Magali, my French friend. We were asking her what it was like there. We are ok if taxes are raised for the well being of everyone. We are in the minority in that thought.2016 is election year, it’s the year I hide from friends because politics makes me hate people. I love Bernie Sanders but we think he’s too left wing for this country. I can totally live with Hillary. Vic said if Trump wins he will try and get transferred to an office in another country. I’m scared Trump isn’t a Media joke. Really was hoping he’s a joke but I don’t think so.

  2. Oh your story about the mail getting stolen is really scary.. but that’s what happen in big cities I suppose. I happens to me once here.. never received the package.

    I have an etsy shop but I’ve only started it recently, so I will upload more things in 2016 (you can keep the link and wait for 2016): otherwise, I mainly sell through my facebook : People send me what they want by private message then I invoice them with my paypal account. Anyway, I’m leaving for belgium in two days and I won’t really be able to deal with any jewellery business till January (anyway the post is crazy in the uk at that time of the year)

    Yes, I think I also understand why the rich would be against it but it’s not all of the population. We pay more tax but it’s less stressful, we won’t risk to loose everything if we have a health problem.

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