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The City Concealed
The City Concealed, an online video series exploring the unseen corners of New York. Visit the places you don’t know exist, locations you can’t get into, or maybe don’t even want to. Each installment unearths New York’s rich history in the city’s hidden remains and overlooked spaces.

Inside Brooklyn Navy Yard

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Brooklyn Navy Yard is one of NYC’s largest pieces of intact — though decaying — history. Sprawling over nearly 300 acres, it has both current industrial tenants, and plans are in the works for adaptive reuse projects for some of the buildings. It’s living history, dotted by pockets of contemporary industry.

For this video, we looked for someone who could tell us about the Yard from the perspective of an employee during it’s heyday (or one of them, at least), and came upon Rubena Ross. An employee of the Yard around the time of the second World War, Mrs. Ross toiled in the flag loft for years, earning a comfortable salary that allowed her to purchase not one but two brownstones in Prospect Heights. By pure coincidence, one of those homes, which she had recently sold, is the subject of the 2009 season of PBS’ This Old House.

Of the many beautiful buildings you’ll see in this piece, my favorite had to be the Laboratory Building. A massive structure, it has a top floor containing an amazing greenhouse-like space with a vaulted glass ceiling. Only recently, in Nov. 2008, did the Navy Yard start opening up the medical campus and other parts of the yard to public tours (brochure pdf) — they’re highly recommended.

-Tom Vigliotta, Producer

This episode wouldn’t have been possible without much help from Daniella Romano, Sara Fitzpatrick, and Andrew Kimball of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Janet and Rubena Ross, Ian Ference, Monark, the Brooklyn Historical Society, the David Rumsey Map Collection, and the National Archives. Thanks to Steve Hindy, president and co-founder of the Brooklyn Brewery, for originally sending me in the direction of the Yard.

  • comments (75)
  • Brian A.

    I love this series. I dread the day you run out of places to uncover. Keep up the great work!

  • Pat M.

    In a sense it is sad indeed for such an historic place to fall vacant such as are many of the buildings shown. Considering all the money simply wasted by the City of New York one wonders why some funding for the restoration of some of those buildings can’t be undertaken. Inmates and convicts can be put to work and in time the grounds could be made to look swell again.

    What a shame and all going to waste.

  • Johnny Young

    My late father, Cecil K. Young, worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard from 1940 to 1945. He helped build the U.S.S. Iowa and (from the keel, up) the U.S.S. Missouri. During his time there, he worked his way up from being a welder to becoming a Welding Instructor. His major “claim to fame” was his suggestion in 1943 or so of a method to remove stainless steel weld from armor plating using electric carbon arc to melt it down and someone to come immediately behind his “stinger” to “blow it out” using high pressure air.

    For this suggestion, he was awarded 250 dollars and got to demonstrate his invention to the Navy Brass at the Yard along with getting a write up and photograph of his invention in the “Shipyard Worker” magazine.

    Thanks for having this site and the info about the Navy Yard. I wish dad was still here…he’d no doubt enjoy this piece as well! :)


    Johnny K. Young
    Phoenix, AZ

  • Adrian

    Does anyone know if the opening scenes of the classic 1949 musical On The Town ( shown on Reel 13 last Saturday ) were filmed in the Navy Yard?

  • Bob McAuley

    My father, Robert (Bob) McAuley, worked in the payroll department until 1966. Love to hear from his friends.

  • Y Shapiro


    I am working on a documentary about Grand Rabbi Menachem Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, who worked as an electrical engineer at the Brooklyn Navy Yard during WW2, and later went on to become a major world religious leader.

    Does anyone know anyone who is alive who also worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard during WW2? Anyone ever heard from anyone that they knew or saw a bearded rabbi working there?

    Also, is there a list anywhere of private engineering firms who did contract work for the Navy Yard?

    Y Shapiro

  • Carol Schindler

    My father and grandfather, now both deceased built and operated two cafeterias in the BNY during the war. Think one cafeteria named the Broken Wheel. Anyone remember this.

  • Tom Lyons

    Thanks for a trip down memory lane!! Both my grandmother, Gertie Kelly Donovan and my great grandmother Mary Kelly worked in “the Yard” as my grandmother called it. Not sure of Mary’s dates of employment or her job. Gertie was employed in the cafeterias for 27 years and worked there until the day they closed in 1964. I was with her that day to help her clear out her belongings and it was a sad sad sight. So many people called “the Yard” home fo so many years. When it closed it was like dividing up a family. I will always remember how my grandmother would curse Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara when he ordered “the Yard” closed!! I was 13 at the time but had visited “the Yard” many times with my grandmother and we always entered and left by the Sands St gate. On each visit she would point to a spot where my mother, Gertrude Donovan Lyons, stood as a child for a picture with Elenore Roosevelt when Mrs. Roosevelt was there to commision a ship. My grandmother was there when the carrier USS Costellation had the devastating fire….she didn’t come home for 3 days and was hospitalized for exaustion afterward. Thanks again for the memories!!!

  • Paul Flanagan

    My great grandfather Jeremiah Flanagan was the senior yardmaster of the Brooklyn Navy Yard at the turm of the last century.I have found that it is very difficult to find anything historical including photos of the yard.It seems that it has been forgotten & nobody really cares abouth the history that was made there.Very sad.

  • Michael Eggleston

    I had only a passing connection to the Navy yard. In 1969, I reported to the Receiving Station at the Navy Yard which was still open for processing Naval Reservists into active duty. I hadn’t realized until now that the rest of the Yard had been closed down. I worked for two weeks at the “Small Store” handing out clothing to sailors needed uniform items. While I was there, they brought in a sailor who had gone UA in Manhattan. He was flanked by two burly Marine Guards (the brig was in the same building on a different deck), and was being shipped out to the fleet. He must have backtalked to the guards as he looked like they had beaten the crap out of him!

    Thanks for your tour of parts of the yard I never got to see. Never realized the battleships “Arizona”, and “Missouri” and the carriers “Constellation” and “Intrepid” were built there…

  • Orin Koeckeritz

    Served aboard the USS Constellation and we spend 2 months in the yard in 1962 after shakedown cruse to GITMO.
    Yard seemed to be thriving place then with 3 Navy ships being built there and with the Connie in for work. The Navy Station and the dances were the highlight of the place along with the wonderful people within the area who put up with all the Navy guys on leave.
    The city of Brooklin and New York as well as Flatbush where i spent a lot of time were great .
    To see the big cranes traveling on the tracks, the other wonders and the yardbirds who were on board every day brings fond thoughts back.

  • Barbara C.

    I was given a tour of the Navy Yard by a senior official of the BNY Development Corp about a year ago and found out that a number of businesses are located there for a reason-away from prying eyes of the public as they own trade secrets.

    Check out the movie, Sabateur made by Hitchchock…makes reference to the BNY at its height when the USS Missouri (USS Alaska) was manufactured and launched.

    All in all, the BNY represents an important period of our country’s history.

  • Joseph Minero

    I’ve been told my Father Joseph Minero worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard during the 1940′s He died March 3 1948 I never got to know him I was 4 at the time of his passing. Is there a list of workers and what they did during this time?

  • Linda L. Brauer

    We are desperately trying to find our male connection to the Hull family. He worked as a “master ship builder at the BNY” for 30 years,we are guessing ca. 1830′s-1860′s. His daughter Mary Jane HULL was married to William Brown. They were my 84 yr. old father’s grt.grand-parents. Any way to locate Mary Jane’s father for my Dad??? I’m willing to look thru records if there are any!!

  • chris brady

    They say the REAL reason the navy yard was closed was because the navy was going more and more nuclear(in weapons and propulsion)and the rich didnt want that so near to them.

  • Larry Windsor

    I was a Marine Station at the Barracks, played in the Drum and bugle corps there and worked in the Naval Brig. I was there from 1963 to 1966. I have a picture of me in dress blues outside the Barracks and on of me while working in the exchange inside the Barracks on first floor. Im still looking for pictures of the yard. We had a parade every friday. Sometimes with honored guest, senators, mayors etc. We Marched in parades in and around NYC and sometimes NJ. We played at the Worlds Fair sometime during 1964-65 but I cant find any film or any evidence I, the Marine Barracks, the drum and bugle corps etc., ever existed. Cant believe it. Send me pictures if you can, Id really appreciate it.

  • Larry Windsor

    I noted when asking for old pictures of the Marine Barracks, I didnt leave an email. I have two pictures, one showing me in dress blues outside the Barracks. The picture was taken away from the barracks instead of the background. The 2nd was taken inside the PX located on the first floor of the barracks. My email is Deliver925@aol.com. If you were stationed there or have pictures please send. Thanks

  • Frank J. Trezza

    I wonder why no one ever talks about the years just following the City of New York aquaring the Yard from the Navy. No one ever talks about Seatrain Shipbuilding and Coastal Dry Dock and Repair. They were the biggest employers inside the Yard from 1968-1986. Seatrain Shipbuilding but the largest ships to ever had built inside the Yard. They build 4 VLCC’s eight barges, 1 Ice breaker barges, statred work on the Sea Witch and
    2 Ro-Ro’s. Coastal worked on the coverson and repair of US Naval vessels. If anyone is interest the Brooklyn Historical Society has a great collect of print and photos on Seatrain Shipbuilding under the
    Frank J. Trezza-Seatrain Collection. You can also visit www,BrooklynSteel-BloodTenacity.com for a look inside the yard during the Seatrain Shipbuilding years. It is a very interesting story!

  • Patricia Watson Smith

    I worked for Coastal and my husbad, John.(then)did as well ..best job I ever had!

    The crane operators starting early to climb … the Montanti boat & fireworks over the holiday. George Miller and the wonderful Maintenance crew.

    During the strike, I rode on the fuel truck and gave the ‘V” sign for the fellows.

    I think I just ran out of perfume! The vendors loved to make princesses out of the staff. Pickicking up the checks and getting in and out in a hurry was important. Is Peter Luga’s still serving the best steaks in Brooklyn?


  • Art Bilenker

    I was assigned to the Brooklyn Navy Yard in as one of the last dental officers in June 1985 to October 1986. By that time the Navy only owned a small corner of the Yard which included the area of the old hospital, motion pictures, some housing, the O club and two large buildings, one of which housed the dental clinic on the first floor.Across the lot was the gym , carved out of a warehouse. A small NavyExchange was on the first floor of my building with offices above,, a cafeteria on the top floor and one section for the Marine “chasers” who brought back UA (Unauthorized Abscense or AWOL) sailors. Our section was called Naval Support Activity New York, we were not really part of the Yard anymore. A lot went on in that small area to support the Navy in the metro region. We were the host activity for the rededication of the Statue of Liberty in 1986 with a housing barge moored to provide beds for assigned sailors to the ceremony.
    I went running most days throughout the Yard at lunch time. I could pass into the area controlled by Coastal Drydock with my Military ID. I would run up and down each pier and behind the old, decaying officers housing.
    The place had a majesty to it, right across for Manhattan, It was a great experience, a backwater of the Navy, in the middle of a city.

  • Holly W

    I’m looking for a naval aviator who flew from the BNY probably around 1943-46. His last name was Eldridge. Any help, please. He was my biologic dad.

  • Janet Schwalenberg

    I was stationed at Naval Station New York; Brooklyn & Staten Island from 1988 to 1992. I worked in the main building in several departments and in Fleet Operations out toward the original Navy Yard. This video series brought back many memories. Thanks so much.

  • Ed Masters

    I worked at the NYNSY from 1957 to 1965. I was initally hired as a Engineering Draftsman and worked in code 380. From there I got into a four year apprentice progam to be an Electronics Mechanic and worked in shop 67 until closure. The only ship I worked on was the Topeka (CLG-8). I was at work the day of the horrible fire aboard the Constalation (CVA-64) and could view it from my work station in Bldg. 280 where we repaired Navy test equipment.
    Your video brought back memories. Thanks.

  • Lee Chambers

    In 1966, I was in the third grade growing up on LI. The Navy still had officers stationed in living quarters at Mitchel Field (though the base had been decomissioned several years earlier).

    My best friend at the time, 8 year old, Robert Hall’s father was the Captain of a ship stationed at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Our class trip that year was to visit the ship and the yard just as it was closing. I still remember it to this day.

  • John Dezeeuw JR.(60)

    My late father worked at the yard from 1953 until it’s closing.I was 16 when it closed and remember what a devestation it was to all the families and friends of my parents who worked there.Most of the employees ended up in the Philadelphia yard until it closed it’s doors. My father was a mechanical engineer (DESIGN) GS14 I believe.He has been gone over 20 years but i remember him taking me to see an aircraft carrier that was in drydock.I believe it was the Constellation he was on during the fire.We were worried sick for days until we heard from him on the test run..God bless all that served at this magnificent place!

  • Linda Kinsman-Saegert

    My mother Sylvia SAEGERT born in 1906 worked at the Yard spraying helmets and lunch boxes. I know that they allowed women to work there in 1939, she was Sylvia SILVERSTEIN until 1927. Does anyone know a parent or grandparent who worked there then? Are there any records of workers there? My email is lindakins@optonline.net and i would love any help i can get, thank you.

  • Barbara Pfeifer

    Both my mother, Agnes Brown (dob January 1904), and Michael Brown (dob August 1902) worked in the Brooklyn Navy Yard during WW II. She was a presser in the laundry room and my father worked in the boiler room. Both worked as Civil Employees for the Navy for over 40 years,each. As a child I remember visiting the hospital with my mother taking the overhead el (had open cars then) from Lefferts Blvd., in Q:ueens to.I believe Myrtle Av. Saw an article recently in the paper announcing a movie studio plus other businesses will be open there. Peaked my memory and started to look into The Brooklyn Navy Yard. Also St. Albans Naval Hospital which they were transferred to when the hospital at the yard shutdown….

  • james bruce fromel

    I was a crewmember on the uss tanner ags-15 from nov 1963 to jan 1965 and the navy yard was our home port. i had a lot of good times in brooklyn during that tour. if i remember right our berth was pier J across from the schaeffer brewery. i really enjoyed watching your videos. also if i could get a photo of the ship tied up to that pier i would appreciat it.

  • Henry Homicz

    Was station on the USS John Hood DD-655 from 1962 until we were decommission in1964. I had good time at the the navy yard if you need to get something done 20# of coffee was all it took. I was also station on the USS Dyess DD-880 from 1971 to 1974 it was a shame that the shipyard was closed down.

  • bob smith

    in sept. of 65 i was sent there to await orders to ET school in great lakes, orders came thru the end of october so i shipped out but revisited in feb. 67 when i went awol in troy,ny. they sent me to the brig at the receiving stationhad mast, got busted and shipped out to westpac aboard USS Ingersoll DD-652. i like it there cause i would take the last bus from albany at midnight , get into port authority at 2:45 , take the subway to flushing st. and still get some sleep before revielle. i was home every weekend. i do remember marching in the pulaski day parade in new york while i was stationed there

  • Janet Hallerman

    My father, Michael Foster, worked at the “yard” from 1942 until his retirement in 1974. He was a laborer in the supply department until his boss, Joe or Bill Savino noticed he had a law degree. He transferred my dad to the Industrial Relations department where he became the superintendent and a recognized authority on naval labor law. After the closing if the yard it became his responsibility to find placement for as many employees as he could. It was a very difficult time for him. He then worked at what was left of thevyard, something called The Naval Applied science lab. My father, who died in 2001, was very unassuming and I was only able to find this out about him from a copy of the newspaper, The Shipworker, and from conversations with my mom.

  • Jim Andrews

    Was stationed aboard the USS Dyess DD880 from 1972 to 1974, Electrician’s Mate 3rd class. Pier Charlie Worked with EM1 Claypool, EM2 Kmetz, EM3 Henry Bednarcyk, etc. Used to go to dinner at EM3 Cirillos house in Park Slope. Real good times. I was always amazed at the history of the Navy Yard.

  • Sam Moore

    I worked there from 1978 to 1980 as Assistant Public Works Officer. It was called Naval Support Activity then. We were little more than a caretaker activity then with just a handful of building still under navy control. We relocated a monument to the US sailors who died during the Boxer rebellion up to the large open space in front of the Admirals mansion. (Yes it was occupied at the time.) I wonder what happened to the monument when the space was turned over to the civilians…

  • Michael Cosgrove

    I was Engineer Officer on the USS Moale (DD-693) which had the distinction (I’m relatively sure) of being the last US Navy ship stationed at the Navy Yard. We went there in the summer of 1970 from Newport and stayed until a permanent berthwas prepared at Fort Schuyler in 1971. We shared a pier with the USS Zellars (DD-777) until she departed under cold iron (got towed) to Iran. When we arrived in Brooklyn, the carriers Essex, Randolph, and Boxer were across the bay in mothballs. The seatrain shipbuilding effort was in full swing. We’d roam the yard looking for unlocked buildings to explore. Being right next to the building ways where carriers and batleships were built, we saw rooms with scraps of blueprints from the Iowa and Missouri lying around on the floor. While they were scrapping the Boxer, we were allowed on board to take anything that might be useful on our destroyer. After our free pass expired, we’d sneak aboard at night and do more exploring by flashlight. As the only Navy afloat in NYC, we’d host foreign navy ships when they visited, with an occasional garden party at the COM Eastern Sea Frontier’s quarters. For less formal entertaining, we’d go up Flushing Avenue to John’s BOQ Bar to drink beer and eat hard boiled eggs. If we went across the river to NYC, on the way back we faced the adventure of getting from the bus stop to the Cumberland Street Gate without getting mugged. I only wish I had owned a camera and that I had taken more advantage of being there.

  • adrian bogart

    Part of my family’s farm during the orginal settlement.

  • Rose Nicoletti

    My dad Rocco Nicoletti worked on the carriers from 1942 until the Yard closed. I was raised on York St. and could walk to the Navy Yard. My dad was a pipefitter on the carriers for 25 yrs. He said they called it the hole they worked in, down in the carriers. He was on the constellation while burning. They did not know it was on fire until one of the men opened the cover and told the men to get out. I was at work and left to go to the yard. It was mass madness. It was on TV and there were families waiting outside the Navy Yard to see who was alive. My father was one who got out alive. My father told me what happened on top, but I cannot repeat it. My dad passed away 10yrs ago of cancer in the lungs from the Asbesthos the men were putting in over him while he was working on the pipes below. There were great men who built those ships and they will not be forgotten . ..there was a Certificate that was given to the men who worked on those ships from the Mayor of NY which I found after my dad passed away. He never mentioned it.

  • Doris

    I worked at the Naval Station as well as NISO (Naval Investigative Service Office) from 1969 – 1978. These were most interesting interesting times, be being only 19 when I started and very in experienced so all the hoopla was very intriguing. At the Naval Station I was administrative clerk, typing retirement papers, reenlistment and travel vouchers for the enlisted personnel. At NISO, I had secret clearance and was able to read and see all documents pertaining to crimes as well as crime scenes committed at the installation, civilian and military. My experience with the military was unique since this was during the time of NAM and all its issues of that day. I will always remember Alice Irving we were close friends, Ada Rivera, Ralph Sanchez to name a few and Chief McKinney (Filipino), Chief Chuck Yeager. Thanks for the memories…

  • Doris

    During 1969-1978 I remember: Manufacturers Hanover Bank, The Bar Restaurant (It had Rocky Maricano Pix on their Wall) I think it was a family member. Also, The Meat Butcher next to the Bank.

    • Mineola

      I was there 1976-78 and remember the Manufacturerer’s Hanover Bank seemed to robbed almost every payday!


    Looking for any photos from the Brooklyn Navy yard that has the Marine Detachment sunset parades taken in the 60′s or any info.

  • christopher sinni

    i was looking for pictures of workers that worked at brooklyn navy shipyard during 1939 to 1945.my grandfathers name was willam sinni.i was told he was incharge of a hole crew of workers and he was big in to welding at the ship yard if anyone is stll alive that knew him please write back.

  • Arlene Binger

    My Dad, Walter Wesley Binger was a quarter master in Brooklyn Navy Yard. He worked on the aircraft carriers , Constellation, and Enterprise. He knew Sheet Metal and how to weld. My mother’s father, Paul C. Migge was the first Welder for Todd’s Shp Yard. I recall the fire in 1950′s when we watched TV for any news about what was happening. My Dad was there trying to get men out of ships. He said it was horrific…some men got inside lockers trying to get away from the fire and even their skin was gone. He worked there from about 1935.

  • Ralph Miller

    I served as first division officer on USS Tanner 1964-1966. We used to have personnel inspections each Saturday before liberty call. My men had to know the chain of command for the inspection. Johnson, a WWII LCDR, was president, and Robert McNamara was SecDef. One Saturday the Captain decided to test my division’s knowledge of the command chain. “Who’s the Commander in Chief?” he asked one sailor. “Lieutenant Commander Johnson” the man replied. The captain said nothing but moved on. Further down the line the Captain tried again. “Who’s McNamara?” he asked. The sailor hesitated… “He’s the leader of the band, sir”. I thought my Naval career had just ended!

  • Richie Polgar

    My grandfather worked in the machine shop during WWll and my father was in the Navy.The Navy Yard was a big employer in our area,they say up to 70,000 people worked there during the war.I was always fascinated with the stories and seeing the ships and with all the activity around the Yard,it was a pretty rough area.In 1967 I sailed with MSTS aboard the USNS Mizar and we pulled into the Navy Yard for a week for repairs and I got to walk around and explore. In 1968 we returned after a five month voyage searching for the USS Scorpion.After we located the lost submarine we were told not to talk to reporters when we got back to the Navy Yard.There are bus tours and bike tours of the Navy Yard by Urban Oyster which I would recommend,there is still plenty old historical features there and soon there will be a museum.

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  • Al Elsenrath

    I was stationed at the BNY from 1973-1977. As a dental technician in 1973 I arrived at the Naval Support Activity a few blocks down the street from the yard. The first dental command was in a separate building behind the Support Activity building. There were only about 120 sailors assigned there then. Sometime in 75-76 the Support Activity was transferrred to Immigrations and the entire Support Activity moved onto the yard just inside the front gate. The Many good memories of the yard and my time in Brooklyn.

  • Jim Langan

    Any idea which building the Brooklyn Navy Yard band was headquartered in, during the 1960′s? Thanks.




  • Dick Larregui

    Hello, My name is Dick Larregui, an oldtime Brooklyn Navy Yeard employee who came upon this interesting bulletin board and decided to contribute my share of nostagic memories during the period I worked and enjoyed as an employee working in then Navy Yard. I started working at 18 years of age in an administrative capacity at the Electric Shop 51 in June 1948. At that time, I lived on Washington Street between Prospect and York Streets and would walk to work or ride the trolley when it rained or snowed. In 1950 I was drafted into the army due to the Korean War and returned to work at the Navy Yard after completing military service in 1953. My supervisor was Joe Levy, who unfortunately has since passed away. I owe a huge gratitude to Joe who helped me progress during my 12 years . Joe reported to Mr. Pederson the senior shop leader. Under Mr. Pedersons leadership he had two electrican supervisor’s, Mr. Roberts and Mr. Edward Herbert. Some My administrative companions I remember were Serrena Franklyn, Eunice, and Leon Shulman. A social accomplishments I contributed to was to join with the electricians to start an annual softball league with players competing against players from most of the other trade shops. Shop 51 became the league’s winningest team each year and become annual trophy recipients.

    Shop 51 Softball Team players were (I have a photo) R. Jackson, R. Larregui, V. Nicoletti, M. Baldinger, J. Scarfone, L. Pimenta, M. Flanagan, N. Protto, D. Gittens, C Bacon, C. Willams, F. Carlucci, N. Cappadona (Captain), J. Di Bernado, J.Uliano, A. Motti. S. Harvey, A. Lontos.I

    In the 50′s I was promoted to work in the Towers Building under the aegis of Ted Goutkin, senior administration manager as an administrative assistant to the Shipbuilding Comander, Comander Chip Chippendale who was responsibile for building the Constellation and the Independence carriers. It was a most learning experience that I enjoyed until the Navy Yard was preparing to close and I saddenly was transferred to the Navy Yard apartments. Shortly, thereafter, I left the govement and went to private industry. Should anyone wish to get in touch with me by Facebook or e-mail, I can be reached at larregui.dick19@gmail.com.

  • Matthew Olsen

    Like Paul Flanagan, above, I am a direct descendant (great great grandson) of Jeremiah Flanagan, who was the Yardmaster at the turn of the last century. I have a photo of the yard master’s office from the outside and a copy of the certificate of appreciation that Jeremiah received from the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce in 1926 as a thank you for twenty years of service at the Navy Yard. I can be reached at matt(at)olsenglobal.com
    Great work!

  • Lisagorsky-Lester

    My Dad, Izzy worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard during WWII. With the exception of there being a war going on, he spoke of these times with the fondest of memories for the rest of his life. He was so proud of his contribution to the war effort, and I guess that some movie or movies were filmed (at least in part) as others noted above because he spoke of that too — seeing Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly there, even sharing a cab with one of them, but I cannot remember which one he said. He continued on in a civilian capacity with NAVPRO until 1986. Sadly, he passed away in 2001, he would have really enjoyed this. Thank you all for sharing.

  • BUD Smallwood

    Very Very Impressive !
    My father was a welder then a radiographer at the Boston Naval Shipyard and then the BNY NY.
    I love visiting those places.
    Thank you !
    b u d

  • http://PoGosh.com Whitney best

    Interesting banter I’ve bookmarked http://www.thirteen.org/thecityconcealed/2009/01/26/inside-the-brooklyn-navy-yard/ on Digg.com so i can get a few people to drop in as well. Anyway i like the post “Inside Brooklyn Navy Yard | The City Concealed” I just used it as the entry title in my Digg.com bookmark, Kudos!.

  • Dave Sheridan

    My Great great Grandfather James Sheridan owned a ship building business in the BNY until his passing in 1893. I have not been lucky in finding any historical records of any kind on property transactions. He also lived at 100 Adelphi Street (which no longer exists and would be within the yard today). Family story was that his wife would hang a lantern outside the door when dinner was ready. James also was awarded the Medal of Honor for service during the Civil Wasr at the battle of Mobile Bay.

  • Will Menard

    It was very interesting reading about American history and THE YARD comments

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  • michael i jeffries

    F.O.P Lodge 5′

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    We’re a gaggle of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with useful information to paintings on. You’ve performed an impressive task and our whole neighborhood might be grateful to you.


    Further research shows that the inward side of the Navy Yard to Bushwick (Bedford) was the Bogart family farm, totaling some 663 acres under Tunis Gysbert Bogart husband of Sarah Raplje. The records of ownership were lost when the County Clerk, John Rapalje, relative to Sarah and loyal to the British Crown, under the pretext of moving the records to a safer place…after the Battle of Brooklyn, John R. fled with them to England. He returned in 1810, with Aaron Burr as his lawyer, to get the City of Brooklyn to purchase them back, but the City did not accept his offer,


    If this property was vacant, today’s value would be at $4B, not knowing what the real value would be today.

    The Bogarts, as many Dutch farmers, had been involved in an insurgency against the British from when the British seized New Netherland in 1664 and again in 1674 until 1776. We can say that the longest insurgency in history was that waged by Dutch-American farmers and many others against British tyranny from 1674 until 1776.

    The Bogart family farm was a cornerstone of the American Revolution and at the place of one of the most significant battles during America’s War of Independence as our Army faced near annihilation by the British, but later escaped from Rapalje’s ferry – later Fulton’s Ferry or today’s Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan and onward to a long and costly campaign to free us from British rule.

    The loss of the Bogart land is a casualty of our Independence, as was the case with many who fought to win our nation’s freedom. Farmers seeking freedom, traded pitchfork and plow, for musket and artillery and fought against a professional army and King, and sacrificed all, to win a dream.

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  • Kim Lyle

    I have some very fond memories of the Navy Support Activity Bklyn, NY. I was stationed there on T.A.D., Temp. Assignment Duty at Washington and Flushing Avenues. No I wasn’t there during the busy days of the 50′s and 60,s, but from 1979-1980 I was on active Naval Duty when I injured my leg and was sent there for one year while I recovered. T.A.D. We were all stationed in one bldg. all branches of service. We had female rooms on one side of the housing floor and male on the other. What a wonderful place to recover. And since I’m from Jersey City, NJ, just accross the Hudson River, I was going home almost everyday for a year. Friends and family who saw me all of the time, couldn’t beleive I was still on active duty. I was stationed in the communications Bldg. Later, I re-enlisted for four more years. 1982-1986.

  • Loretta Makrancy

    When I was a little girl my mother, Rose Solpietro, told me stories of how she worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard during WWII, where her co-workers teased her that she was their Rosie (the Riveter). In 1940 she came from her home in Jamestown, NY to live with her sister and brother-in-law who lived in the Midwood section of Brooklyn. When the War broke out she got a job at the Navy Yard. Her job was to take apart binoculars used on naval ships, so she could clean the lenses. No one could clean glass like my mother. Years later she was a tough task master when she and I would Spring/Fall clean the windows of our house. I always think of my mother and her stories of the Brooklyn Navy Yard every time I clean windows and mirrors.

  • Tom Alberts PNCS USN RET

    I was stationed at Naval Receiving Station from July 63 to June 1967. I was in charge of military training office. My office window over looked a dry dock and I USS Vancover built from keel up and got to know the original crew. About a year later we met again when I boarded her for the short ride from Subic to Yankee Station. There were many long faces on the faces of workers that day it was announced the Yard was closing. The purchase of the yard by the city for $24 million was a better deal than the purchase of manhattan for $23 work of beads. What a great piece of real estate.



  • Jane Grusby

    My father Samuel Bursten worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in the late 1930′s and early 1940′s doing electrical work on the mast’s of the battleships Iowa and others. If anyone has pictures of this time frame I would love to see them

  • Robert J. Evans

    I worked at the NYNSY (Brooklyn Navy Yard) from Oct. 1951 till Jan. 1959. Many of my freinds I worked with were killed when a fire broke on the CVA-64. in the early 60′s. After reading a short story about the fire written on this site
    I attempted to find additional informantion. So far I have foujnd nothing.
    P.S, I would normally be covered with asbestous power from head to foot every day when I worked on the CVA-60, CVA-62 and CVA-64.. I also suffer from LUNG CANCER

  • john garone

    I just found a original blueprint dated 1940′s of the BROOKLYN NAVY YARD.does anyone know who or what organization that might be interested in it……reply gaffersbyc@aol.com

  • Gary Adkins

    I was at Naval Yard from June 1970 until April 1972. I was stationed on the USS Zellers DD-777 and then the USS Dyess DD-880. Dyess was moved to the reserve training fleet to replace the Zellers when she was sold to Iran in 1971. I have been looking for photos of the Receiving Station building and so far have had no luck locating any. Was just wondering if the building is still there and if so what is it being used for now.

  • lawrie farrelly

    My Uncle Philip J Farrelly worked at the yard as a rigger aged 39 in the 1940 census and he lived in Pearl Street as a roomer. Have been trying to trace him and would like to know if there are any records of his service there. Would be appreciative of any help. My email is lpfarrelly@hotmail.com

  • Les Williamson

    I was stationed here in 1978-1979 while my ship the USS Calloosahatchee AO 98 was in drydock. We lived in the old WW2 barracks across the street from the gate. We worked hard although it was a very cold winter it didn’t deter us from getting the ship seaworthy . I hope the yard comes to life again as it will always have a place in shaping my life. I was only19.

  • Rudy Brauer

    I was stationed at the BNSY from 1972 till 1977 aboard the USS Compass Island AG-153.I used to sit on the fantail in port and watch the Trade Towers go up.I never dreamed that I would see them come down too.Lots of good memories too, of great music,good friends,and just being a teenager in the 70s.We had one guy from Arkansas who one night was on pier watch on pier J, he asked the officer of the deck for a broom,the officer thought the sailor was going to tidy up a bit which he thought was commendable,but in fact he used it to kill wharf rats all night.He got six!

  • becky b

    I was in NY the Thanksgiving after 9/11 with a church group; we were in a clean-up effort to clean nearby apts that got dirty from the debris of the fallen buildings. I was trying to find the name of the place we’d stayed, I was thinking it was either old barracks or an old jail. I think this was the place we stayed. I remember they had very basic cots lined up in big rooms, very concrete & bare. There were community showers & toilets that didn’t have doors, although they also had a trailer down the rd we could shower in for more privacy (that’s where I went.) I remember one area that had bars like a jail cell.This was 12 years ago and I don’t have the greatest memory, just remembering snippets of what the lodging was like, and I’m from SC so I haven’t been back to that area. Just curious if any of the locals know if they do indeed use this structure for that purpose (such as letting volunteers stay there temporarily.) The trip and lodging were free; we’d ridden in on some big buses & again the place we slept wasn’t fancy, so I guess they let us stay there for free since we were helping with the clean-up effort. God Bless New York for the devastation caused by 9/11 & also from Sandy. WE WILL NEVER FORGOT

  • G foley

    I just uncovered my grandfathers app with the civil service commission for a position as ship caulker at the Brooklyn navy yard dated May 2,1906. He had been working there for 8 years already so I assume it was just becoming a civil service position. he was 25 years old then and lived at 68 North Portland av. Which would now be smack in the center of the BQE.
    My father recalled him coming home from work covered head to foot in asbestos. He also smoked unfiltered camels until he died at age 88. Go figure.

  • linda hargett

    My mother Dorothy Beck worked as a pipefitter at the Brooklyn Navy yard during WW11. I too was looking for a list of workers…… I was wondering if you ever got a list….. if so, could you email me @ lchargett@comcast.net. thanks for your time.

  • Jim Hunold

    Both my Grandfathers worked in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, one was a riveter and the other was electrical engineer. My Grandfather lost his life there when one day an accident happen when a sheet of metal fall in 1941.