Must-See Fort Greene and Clinton Hill
by Caitlin Dover, 10/16/2013
Photo: Tom Olcott
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BLDG 92: Brooklyn Navy Yard Center
A short walk downhill from Pratt Institute is another locale rich in the area's history: the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Stretching along Flushing Avenue, the now 300-acre site was established in 1801 as one of the US Navy's first shipyards; it witnessed the building of the USS Maine and contributed largely to the nation's effort during World War II. The site is now home to an industrial park, where small companies produce everything from innovative new products like energy delivery device Solar Ivy to scenery for Saturday Night Live.
The area's remarkable story is now being told in style in BLDG 92, a museum quartered in an imposing 1858 home with a beautifully designed contemporary addition. The museum's three-floor permanent exhibition on the Navy Yard's history features an interactive, touch-enabled timeline of the Yard that visually tracks the site's metamorphosis, starting in 1600. Other exhibits offer insights on the Maine and other battleships, along with such oddities as a Navy Yard mustard bottle and a 19th-century photograph of sailors on deck playing with the ship's cats.
To get a view of the Yard—and some refreshments—head upstairs to the museum's inviting, sunlit café and grab a sandwich to eat on the roof deck. Want to get a closer look at the Yard and its doings? Take a tour, by bus or bike, and learn about the Yard's industry, its history and its dedication to sustainability through BLDG 92 as well as through Turnstile Tours.