I was a visiting artist at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 2015. I had 24 hour access to the public parts of the Yard and was able to photograph there over the course of a year at all hours and in all weather. The Yard, built for the huge scale of industrial production, is now being reconfigured for the very different needs of the new manufacturing. The signs of intensive use and age can still be seen next to new construction as this process unfolds. In the year, I was working there, this adaptive reuse included new windows for Building 77, which had only had windows on the top floors where management had had offices and the beginning of construction of a new office building on the pier between Dry Docks 2 and 3 where previously there had been a tool shed and a latrine. The modules for an apartment building on Flatbush Avenue were being put together at the Yard. The New York Harbor School was staging parts of its Billion Oyster project. And of course boats came and went: primarily tugs and barges but also FDNY boats and the Marcus G. Langseth, a high-tech research ship built to study seismology. Now walking the quiet streets of the yard, its hard to imagine what it would have been like to work there at its peak during World War II, and yet in the scale of the Yard, the heavy imprint of the past remains.
Special thanks to Aileen Chumard for her help.