NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - The Brooklyn Navy Yard has played a vital role in American history. It’s where the U.S.S. Maine, the Missouri, the Arizona, and the Kearsarge were built. It even put the iron-cladding on the Monitor.
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Its history stretches back to 1801 and now the public is being allowed in for the first time.
When people enter the new visitor’s center, they will be greeted by a 22,000-lb anchor from one of the last ships built there – the U.S.S. Austin.
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“Every aspect of the complex is built to the highest level of sustainability and the visitor’s experience will be driven in that way with a sustainability scavenger hunt where you’ll learn about how the teek benches in the forecourt came from the U.S.S. North Carolina,” said Andrew Kimball, president of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation.
The $25.6 million Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at Building 92, is located in the restored 1857 house of the former Marine commandant, is opening Friday.
“What’s so compelling about the exhibit is you see extraordinary artifacts, innovation, technology role of the Navy around the world, the social change that went on here — the first Rosie the Riveters,” said Kimball told WCBS 880 reporter Rich Lamb. “Plus you’ll see the technology of today — wind-solar street lamps and slews of other high-tech / clean tech / green tech companies that are working here.”
The exhibition fills six galleries on three floors of the historic building.
The visitors center will feature a solar screen with an image of the U.S.S. Brooklyn leaving the yard in 1936. Other highlights include a 40-foot-long wall mural showing the different ships built or launched at the yard, a mangled steel pipe from the U.S.S. Arizona, a detailed model of the U.S.S. Ohio.
Kimball said the exhibition will also feature the oral histories of 65 people who worked at the yard during World War II.
“The ships here helped make history in America and the world, it helped our country form, it helped protect our economic interest, it kept us safe in World War I and World War II and all the through Iraq and Afghanistan,” Kimball told 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks.
Right now, he says the yard houses firms with 6,000 jobs and they’re planning to add another 2,000 jobs within two years.
The yard is home to Steiner Studios — the largest film and television complex outside of Hollywood.
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