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Hi, everyone, I'm Lorraine McConaghy, public historian at Seattle's Museum of History & Industry. I've been researching the antebellum Pacific Squadron for a few years, especially the 1854-1859 Pacific cruise of the sloop-of-war DECATUR, and published Warship Under Sail: The USS DECATUR in the Pacific West, University of Washington Press, 2009. DECATUR was launched at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1839 to great fanfare, but my story really begins with the ship's assignment to the Pacific Squadron, in December 1853.
While researching the ship's cruise, I learned that many of the officers were - as the assistant surgeon put it - "swept by a passion for collecting" when the DECATUR traveled slowly through the Strait of Magellan, from the Atlantic into the Pacific, in 1854. They gathered stones and bones, feathers and fur - specimens - but they also gathered weapons and costumes - artifacts. They were working as amateur scientists, using this rare opportunity in the Strait to carefully gather, arrange, organize and prepare their collection to be crated when the sloop-of-war called at Valparaiso, the base for the Pacific Squadron. The collection was to be shipped to the Naval Lyceum at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, by the next ship ...
The Brooklyn Navy Yard is a photographer’s dream. Spread out over 300 acres, the Yard boasts architectural evidences of the site’s rich history amid towering examples of its modern industrial rebirth, all set against a backdrop of natural landscapes and waterfront vistas. It is no wonder that many professional photographers have studios in the Yard and that many other amateur photographers, Yard enthusiasts and Instagram geeks have been clamoring to get “behind the fence.”Continue Reading >
Meet the Makers is a new BLDG 92 Blog feature that shines a spotlight on artisans, designers, manufacturers and entrepreneurs who are “making it” in and around the Yard.Continue Reading >
BLDG 92’s Visiting Artist Program grants access to artists who wish to use the Yard—both the site itself and the heritage it holds—as inspiration. The Yard’s reinvention, from the premier naval shipyard it was to the thriving industrial park it is today, can be seen through the architecture, the increasingly green landscape and the diversity and productivity of workers here today. The Visiting Artist program, launched in 2012, was established in response to the tremendous interest conveyed by local, national and international artists to get “behind the gate” and take part themselves in this incredible story.Continue Reading >
Hello, everyone! My name is Jamera McNeil and I am currently serving a third term as a summer intern at Bldg 92. I am excited to contribute my experiences to Bldg92's Blog and Tumblr pages. I am from Brooklyn, NY and going into my junior year at Bryn Athyn College, which is located in northern Pennsylvania. When I'm not investigating the history of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, I am exploring this amazing city-and often finding connections to the Yard in unexpected places.Continue Reading >
My name is Molly Rosner. I am a doctoral student in American Studies at Rutgers University. I am guest writing for the Brooklyn Navy Yard blog this month. This is the third in a series of posts that highlight the collection at Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG92 in honor of women’s history month. I encourage you to take a trip there to learn more about the many roles women have played during wartime.Continue Reading >
My name is Molly Rosner and I am a doctoral student in American Studies at Rutgers University. I am guest writing for the Brooklyn Navy Yard blog this month. This is the second of three posts that highlight the collection at Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG92 in honor of women’s history month. I encourage you to take a trip there to learn more about the many roles women have played during wartime.Continue Reading >