The United States Navy Yard, New York – better known as the Brooklyn Navy Yard or the New York Naval Shipyard (NYNSY) – is an American shipyard located in Brooklyn, 1.7 miles (2.7 km) northeast of the Battery on the East River in Wallabout Basin, a semicircular bend of the River across from Corlear's Hook in Manhattan. It is bounded by Navy Street, Flushing and Kent Avenues, and at the height of its production of U.S. Navy warships it covered over 200 acres (0.81 km2).
Following the American Revolution, the waterfront site was used to build merchant vessels. Federal authorities purchased the old docks and 40 acres (160,000 m2) of land for forty thousand dollars in 1801, and the property became an active U.S. Navy shipyard five years later, in 1806. The offices, store-houses and barracks were constructed of handmade bricks, and the yard's oldest structure (located in Vinegar Hill), the 1807 federal style commandant's house, was designed by Charles Bulfinch, architect of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.. Many officers were housed in Admiral's Row.
Military chain of command was strictly observed. During the Yard's construction of Robert Fulton's steam frigate, Fulton, launched in 1815, the year of Fulton's death, the Navy Yard's chief officers were listed as follows: Captain Commandant, Master Commandant, Lieutenant of the Yard, Master of the Yard, Surgeon of the Yard & Marine Barracks, Purser of the Navy Yard, Naval Storekeeper, Naval Constructor, and Major commanding the Marine Corps.
The nation's first ironclad ship, Monitor, was fitted with its revolutionary iron cladding at the Continental Iron Works in nearby Greenpoint. By the American Civil War, the yard had expanded to employ about 6000 men. In 1890, the ill-fated Maine was launched from the Yard's ways.
On the eve of World War II, the yard contained more than five miles (8 km) of paved streets, four drydocks ranging in length from 326 to 700 feet (99 to 213 meters), two steel shipways, and six pontoons and cylindrical floats for salvage work, barracks for marines, a power plant, a large radio station, and a railroad spur, as well as the expected foundries, machine shops, and warehouses. In 1937 the battleship North Carolina was laid down. In 1938, the yard employed about ten thousand men, of whom one-third were Works Progress Administration (WPA) workers. The battleship Iowa was completed in 1942 followed by the USS Missouri (BB-63) which became the site of the Surrender of Japan 2 September 1945. On 12 January 1953, test operations began on Antietam, which emerged in December 1952 from the Yard as America's first angled-deck aircraft carrier.
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