Brooklyn Navy Yard Improvements – Brooklyn NY


In 1934, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported that Brooklyn and Queens received their largest allotment of funds to-date, “in the government’s drive to spread employment and aid industry.” Improvements to drydock 2 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, were part of the Public Works Administration’s (PWA) metropolitan-wide program which added “1,079,328 man-months of direct employment,” as well as indirect employment, much of it in the construction trades (Brooklyn Daily Eagle).

Forty percent of the $250,000,000 that the PWA allocated to the New York metropolitan area went to Brooklyn and Queens. A significant portion of these funds were used to improve and extend the city’s transportation system, including additions to dock and pier facilities (Long Range Public Investment).

The WPA provided labor toward the operations of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. According to the Federal Writers’ Project:

“The yard is traversed by more than five miles of paved streets, and contains four drydocks ranging in length from 326 to 700 feet, two huge steel shipways, and six big pontoons and cylindrical floats for salvage work. In addition to the numerous foundries, machine shops, and warehouses, it has barracks for marines, a power plant, a large radio station, and a railroad spur. The activities of the yard in 1938 required the services of about ten thousand men, of whom one-third were WPA workers.”

The Brooklyn Navy Yard closed in 1966, and became a development corporation in 1981 (Brooklyn Navy Yard Industrial Park). GMD Shipyard Corporation now uses the dry docks for commercial ship repair (Turnstile Tours).

Source notes

National Archives and Records Administration, Negative P-1082
Brooklyn Daily Eagle, October 28, 1934, Section D: "Government Construction Jobs to Spread Employment", last accessed October 2015
"Long-range Public Investment: The Forgotten Legacy of the New Deal" (page 86), by R.D. Leighninger, last accessed October 2015
BNYDC: "Brooklyn Navy Yard History", last accessed October 2015
Turnstile Tours: "Pouring Concrete: The Brooklyn Navy Yard Prepares for War", last accessed October 2015

"New York city guide; a comprehensive guide to the five boroughs of the metropolis: Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Richmond"; Federal Writers' Project, 1939 (page 451).

Public Works of the Navy, Bulletin No.38, May 1937, US Government Printing Office (1937).

Public Works of the Navy, Bulletin No.39, June 1937, US Government Printing Office (1937).

Kermit Project, Brooklyn Navy Yard: (, accessed September 1, 2015.



Project originally submitted by Evan Kalish on October 22, 2015.
Additional contributions by Brent McKee, Frank da Cruz.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

Flushing Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11025

Coordinates: 40.70, -73.97

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