Building 92 in Brooklyn, NY is a blast from the past, brought into modern times with a focus on how history can influence the present. Guests who visit the Yard are able to get a glimpse at this historic naval yard while learning about how it has changed the NYC area in innumerable ways. The United States Navy commissioned the naval yard originally in 1801 and it operated continually until 1966, when it was decommissioned. It reopened again in 1969 under a different name and went through a series of changes until finally turning into a museum in 2011.
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Brooklyn Naval Yard: Past, Present, Future - This exhibit features an extensive history of the Navy Yard in Brooklyn, New York, with a focus on how it impacted the area in a variety of narratives - social, natural, cultural, industrial and, of course, naval. It tells the story of the naval yard for the first time, looking at the contributions that it made to technology, innovation, industry, and manufacturing not only in New York but also all across America. It also explores the way that the Yard has impacted politics, labor, urban planning as well as environmental planning, and education. The exhibit stretches out over three floors, exploring not only the Yard itself but also the people who contributed to making it into what it is today. This includes many generations, starting with the Native Americans.
Today’s Yard - The first-floor gallery on the east side features the Today’s Yard exhibit that shines the light on 15 businesses that are located in the Yard via a portrait mural with embedded video. Each piece lasts about 90 seconds and is a personal intro to the entrepreneurs and their workforce.
Designing the Future - This section of the museum focuses on what the future may bring to the Yard and features many of the up and coming architecture, engineering, and design students and their ideas, some that may someday even make it to the Yard for manufacturing and development! No matter how many times guests visit the museum, they will see a different exhibit as it is constantly changing and evolving.
Yard Work - This constantly evolving and rotating exhibit displays the products, people, tools, and talents of the community and culture that encompasses the Yard. It is also located in the cafe, which is operated by the local Brooklyn Roasting Company. Recently, this exhibit has featured works done in metal and wood.
Mural - The 66-foot wall that stretches along the perimeter of the Yard along the Greenway is home to a mural that changes on an annual basis. It currently features a map of 10 commuters who tracked their daily commute on their smart phone apps. Those commutes were mapped with a variety of colors, making for a beautiful and lively must-see mural.
Building 92 prides itself on its excellent educational opportunities for students. To that end, they collaborate with the Historical Society of Brooklyn to offer their education programs free of charge to all students from kindergarten through 12th grade and their teachers provided they go to the school in the NYC public system. Students will learn how to think like engineers and historians through hands on investigation of the arts, material culture, as well as written documents that help them to better understand how America as a whole and NYC in specific was developed. Programs as 90 minutes in length and teachers can choose from a variety according to grade level of their students. All field trips require reservation in advance and can accommodate up to 32 students with 3 chaperones (must be adults). They are available on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at 10:30am and 11:30am. Bus parking is available.
There are special events offered throughout the year at Building 92, most of them free of charge. The website runs an up to date calendar with additional information, including times and cost (if applicable). The Tools and Talent workshops offer seasonal activities that let guests get hands on experience with each event. For example, in December, they offer a twist on the traditional gingerbread house making that happens during Christmastime… gingerbread ships! Building 92 also runs a series of cultural programming, performances, and other artistic performances that it calls Bldg. 92 Presents. There are also frequent public talks related to the history of the Yard, helping guests to understand the significance of the area in a way that allows them to ask questions and engage with the actual history. Keep an eye on the website for other special events, including both bus and bike tours, factory tours and other themed tours as these are offered on a fairly regular basis.
Building 92, 63 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, 11205, website, Phone: 718-907-5932