Brooklyn Navy Yard
Brooklyn, New York City, New York
New York Navy Yard aerial photo 1 in April 1945.jpg
Aerial photo taken in April 1945
TypeShipyard
Site information
Controlled byUnited States Navy
Site history
Built1801
In use1806–1966
Battles/wars
Brooklyn Navy Yard Historic District
Brooklyn Navy Yard is located in New York City
Brooklyn Navy Yard
Brooklyn Navy Yard is located in New York
Brooklyn Navy Yard
Brooklyn Navy Yard is located in the United States
Brooklyn Navy Yard
LocationNavy Street and Flushing and Kent Avenues
Brooklyn, New York
Coordinates40°42′7.2″N 73°58′8.4″W / 40.702000°N 73.969000°W / 40.702000; -73.969000Coordinates: 40°42′7.2″N 73°58′8.4″W / 40.702000°N 73.969000°W / 40.702000; -73.969000
Area225.15 acres (91.11 ha)
Built1801
Architectural styleEarly Republic, Mid-19th Century, Late Victorian, Modern Movement
NRHP reference #14000261[1]
Added to NRHPMay 22, 2014

The Brooklyn Navy Yard (originally known as the New York Navy Yard) is a shipyard and industrial complex located in northwest Brooklyn in New York City, New York. The Navy Yard is located on the East River in Wallabout Bay, a semicircular bend of the river across from Corlears Hook in Manhattan. It is bounded by Navy Street to the west, Flushing Avenue to the south, Kent Avenue to the east, and the East River on the north. The site, which covers 225.15 acres (91.11 ha), is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Brooklyn Navy Yard was established in 1801. From the early 1810s through the 1960s, it was an active shipyard for the United States Navy, and was also known as the United States Naval Shipyard, Brooklyn and New York Naval Shipyard at various points in its history. The Brooklyn Navy Yard produced wooden ships for the U.S. Navy through the 1870s, and steel ships after the American Civil War in the 1860s.

The Brooklyn Navy Yard has been expanded several times, and at its peak, it covered over 356 acres (1.44 km2). The efforts of its 75,000 workers during World War II earned the yard the nickname "The Can-Do Shipyard".[2] The Navy Yard was deactivated as a military installation in 1966, but continued to be used by private industries. The facility now houses an industrial and commercial complex run by the New York City government, both related to shipping repairs and maintenance and as office and manufacturing space for non-maritime industries.

The Brooklyn Navy Yard includes dozens of structures, some of which date to the 19th century. The Brooklyn Naval Hospital, a medical complex on the east side of the Brooklyn Navy Yard site, served as the yard's hospital from 1838 until 1948. Dry Dock 1, one of six dry docks at the yard, was completed in 1851 and is listed as a New York City designated landmark. Former structures include Admiral's Row, a grouping of officers' residences at the west end of the yard, which was torn down in 2016 to accommodate new construction. Several new buildings were built in the late 20th and early 21st centuries as part of the city-run commercial and industrial complex. A commandant's residence, also a National Historic Landmark, is located away from the main navy yard's site.

History

Site

The site of the Brooklyn Navy Yard was originally a mudflat and tidal marsh settled by the Canarsie Indians. The Dutch colonized the area in the early 17th century, and by 1637, Dutch settler Joris Jansen Rapelje purchased 335 acres (136 ha) of land around present-day Wallabout Bay from the Indians.[3]:17 (PDF p. 21)[4] The site later became his farm, though Rapelje himself did not reside on it until circa 1655.[5] Rapelje was a Walloon from Belgium, and the area around his farm came to be known as "Waal-boght" or "Waal-bocht", which translates roughly into "Walloon's Bay"; this is probably where the name of Wallabout Bay was adapted from.[3]:17 (PDF p. 21)[6] The Rapelje family and their descendants had possession of the farm for at least a century afterward, and mostly farmed on the drained mudflats and tidal marshland. They built a grist mill and a mill pond on the site by 1710.[3]:17 (PDF p. 21) The pond continued to be used through the 19th century.[4][7] The Remsen family were the last descendants of the Rapeljes to own the farm, and they held possession of nearby land plots through the mid-19th century.[3]:18 (PDF p. 22)

During the American Revolutionary War, the British kept prisoners of war inside decrepit ships which were moored in the bay. Many of the prisoners died and were subsequently buried in long, shallow trenches on nearby solid ground.[3]:18 (PDF p. 22)[7][8] A