As we all prepare for a weekend of fireworks and barbeques, I propose a great escape that celebrates our nation’s heroes—a tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
The year 1776 was both exciting and tragic. The Declaration of Independence was signed, freeing our country from Britain’s rule. And later, during the Revolutionary War, lives were lost in our own backyard. The British occupied the Navy Yard during the war, and over 11,500 American soldiers, merchants and traders died on prison ships off Wallabout Bay. In 1808, the remains of the prison ship martyrs were buried near the Navy Yard and .
Among the catastrophic early history of the Navy Yard also lies great transformation. Urban Oyster’s bus tour of the Navy Yard includes a visit to Building 92, which houses “The Brooklyn Navy Yard: Past, Present, and Future” exhibit recapping the last two centuries’ bustling activity. The Yard’s workers have served our country by building and repairing many of its mightiest warships, including the USS Arizona and Missouri, and by representing a force for social change and technological innovation.
Over the years, the Navy Yard has become an area of private manufacturing and commercial activity. Today, it has over 200 tenants with more than 3,500 employees. The two-hour bus tour incorporates historical stops at the dry dock and former Navy hospital campus paired with visits to modern features like America’s first multi-story LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified industrial building.
For those who prefer two-wheeled travel, Urban Oyster also offers “Getting a Handle on Sustainability” bike tours. Did you know the Navy Yard is now a national leader for sustainable urban industrial parks? The Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation's efforts include our country’s first solar and wind-powered street lamps, NYC's first building-mounted wind turbines, adaptively reused historic structures, and new green buildings certified by the US Green Buildings Council. Staying true to tradition, the Navy Yard continues to be at the forefront of innovation.
While the Navy Yard has undergone modification over the years, it still represents our nation’s bravery in the fight for independence. Schedule a visit to honor Brooklyn’s past and celebrate our future.
For more information on the Brooklyn Navy Yard and available tours, visit brooklynnavyyard.org.