Maptastic: Brooklyn Navy Yard
For those of us long-fascinated by the mysterious Brooklyn Navy Yard, here's a little cartographic tease of what's hiding behind the walls.
Since the former US Navy base reopened as a members-only industrial park in 1971, the 300 acre tract of East River waterfront has been more or less off-limits to all but tenants, authorized guests and delivery men.
At the Yard's north end, notable tenant Steiner Studios recently announced it would expand into the historic Navy Hospital, renovating the abandoned (and presumably rotting) structure as a studio backlot.
Down at the southern extreme, controversy rages concerning the disposition of the (even more) historic Admiral's Row residences: last Fall, developers were revving up their bulldozers, preparing to demolish the remains of the 19th-century Second Empire-style residences - to be replaced by a supermarket - when a federal government panel released its surprise assessment that the formerly lavish buildings may in fact be in better shape than suspected, making them potential candidates for preservation.
Indeed, the history of the Navy Yard - both distant and recent - is a microcosm of American history. In its two-plus centuries, the Yard has launched war-changing battleships, inspired iconic heroine Rosie the Riveter, and served as an early model for public/private business development. The Navy Yard's website has a great timeline of significant events (click on About the Navy Yard > History)...its worth checking out.
The Visitor Map above fills in a few blanks for us outsiders: street names, building numbers, dry dock numbers, and parcels belonging to the NYPD Tow Pound and DEP water treatment plant are all details missing from Google Maps. In fact, this map is a great compliment to the Google Earth view of the Navy Yard.
Funny to think that publishing this map sixty years ago would have gotten us hung for treason. Now they're printed on tear pads - like fast-food tray liners - to help keep the FedEx guy from getting lost.
Navy Yard Visitor Map [Flickr]