From the Archives

Spring has Sprung? The Navy Yard Bikes To Work!

Meredith Wisner 5 years ago
Detail, Brooklyn Greenway Detail, Brooklyn Greenway

Inspired by the unseasonably warm weather a number of Brooklyn Navy Yard staff, including myself, dusted off their bikes, filled their tires and biked to work.  The route has gotten exponentially more attractive given the continued expansion of the Brooklyn Greenway, which once completed will be a 14 mile route that hugs the Brooklyn waterfront--including our very own Navy Yard!

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From the Archives

Happy Birthday Mighty Mo!

Meredith Wisner 5 years, 2 months ago
USS Missouri on Launching Day, January 28, 1944 USS Missouri on Launching Day, January 28, 1944

The USS Missouri is one of the Yard's most storied warships. An Iowa-class battleship, she was known for speed as well as her impressive secondary anti-aircraft batteries. Throughout her long career she earned 11 stars for service, though she is probably best know as the site of the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay that marked the end of WWII. An interesting side note: photographs from the ceremony show a 31-star flag in the background that was flown over Commodore Matthew Perry's flagship when he led the Far East Squadron that opened Japan's ports to foreign trade. The presence of that flag was an additional point of pride to Yard workers since Perry was the Brooklyn Navy Yard's eighth Commandant. The eight-minute United News clip below shows the ceremony.

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From the Archives

Happy 387th Anniversary Joris and Catalyntje Rapelje!

Meredith Wisner 5 years, 2 months ago
Walloon Church, Site of the Wedding of Joris Jansen Rapelje and Catalyntje Trico Walloon Church, Site of the Wedding of Joris Jansen Rapelje and Catalyntje Trico

As the story goes, on January 21, 1624 Joris Jansen Rapelje and his bride-to-be Catalyntje Trico married hastily in the Walloon Church of Amsterdam.  Four days later they would board a ship departing for the New World.  After a brief stay in Fort Orange (now Albany, New York), where Joris found work with the Dutch West India Company, and another move to Fort Amsterdam on the Island of Manhattan, the Rapeljes became the first settlers of this area; a small oyster bed called Rinnegackonck that was later renamed Wallabout bay. 

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From the Archives

Staycation! The Ladies of BLDG 92 Take a Tour of Their Own Backyard

Meredith Wisner 5 years, 2 months ago
Photo by Adrienne Murray (left to right): Meredith Wisner, Daniella Romano, Emelie Evans, Aileen Chumard and Adrienne Murray (not pictured) take a trip into the Dry Docks Photo by Adrienne Murray (left to right): Meredith Wisner, Daniella Romano, Emelie Evans, Aileen Chumard and Adrienne Murray (not pictured) take a trip into the Dry Docks

Sometimes we forget just how awe inspiring the Navy Yard can be. In terms of scale it almost can't be beat--and that's saying something considering the magnitude of the city we live in. Still, it is possible to become inured to it all. Those of us who are residents of this fair city may relate to having friends in from out of town and taking them to that neighborhood joint that just happens to serve the best chicken adobo (or what have you), followed by artisanal cocktails at the speakeasy down the street. Your friends are dazzled, and you are given the gift of see with fresh eyes just how amazing your city can be. We imagine this is how the folks at GMD Shipyard felt as we frolicked through their dry dock a few weeks ago.  

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From the Archives

Remix: Archival Photography at the Navy Yard

Meredith Wisner 5 years, 2 months ago

Navy Yard tenant, Thomas Witte, installed for us yesterday an amazing group of paintings that reinterpret archival photographs from the Brooklyn Navy Yard's collection onto salvaged glass found around our 300 acres (adaptive reuse was never so inspiring!).  We really love how he's taken these utilitarian photographs--once used to document advancements at the Yard during the post WWI, WPA and WWII period--and made them evoke more palpably the human experience of life on the Yard.  Yesterday we posted the source photos on our Facebook page, and through that post The L Magazine responded with an amusing piece on Brooklyn's first hipster.  

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From the Archives

I'll Be Home for Christmas

Meredith Wisner 5 years, 3 months ago

We at the BNY Blog will be home for Christmas, but we wanted to leave you with this Navy Yard themed Christmas story we found in the December December 23rd 1955 issue of The Shipworker. Enjoy!

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From the Archives

In Memoriam: The USS Constellation Fire

Meredith Wisner 5 years, 3 months ago
Shipworker, December 23, 1960 Shipworker, December 23, 1960

51 Years ago today a forklift accident aboard the USS Constellation caused 502 gallons of fuel to spill and become ignited by welders working in her decks below. 50 men to lose their lives and at least 330 were injured.  The resulting fire was so intense that support was required from neighboring fire departments--who were already exhausted from the Park Slope plane crash that occured just three days earlier. It took 17 hours to put out the blaze.  The fire remains one of the most tragic events in Brooklyn history.

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From the Archives

If it Ain't Broke, Reuse It!

Meredith Wisner 5 years, 3 months ago

On February 19th 1945 the Brooklyn Navy Yard celebrated it's 144th anniversary with an exhibition.  Held in the Brooklyn Eagle building on 24 Johnson Street, the exhibition featured demonstrations of modern naval innovation, photographs of bygone shipbuilding technology and images of the Yard's changing appearance over time.  High points of the exhibit included the presence of British prison ships in Wallabout Bay, the Civil War Navy Yard, the Naval Lyceum and the launching of the USS Maine. Sound familiar? 

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From the Archives

Pearl Harbor Remembered

Meredith Wisner 5 years, 3 months ago
Joe Washington, survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor Joe Washington, survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor

On December 5th 1958, Joe Washington, a supply man with the Brooklyn Navy Yard, recounted his experience aboard the USS Arizona as the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor 17 years earlier. In his brief account in the Navy Yard Shipworker Mr. Washington described the attacks as a complete surprise; recalling how he ran to his battle station to find the skies filled with enemy aircraft. By days end 2,402 Americans were killed and 1,282 were wounded. Washington considered himself fortunate to have survived. "If there's anything such as sheer luck," he said, "I sure had it.

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From the Archives

A Shipworker's Recipe

Meredith Wisner 5 years, 3 months ago

We at the BNY Blog are feeling a bit...overstuffed after the Thanksgiving holiday.  Happily we discovered this wonderful non-food related recipe, written by Lillian Frankel for The Shipworker's write-in column "The Shipworker Speaks."  

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