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Brooklyn Navy Yard Museum to Open this Veteran’s Day

November 7, 2011

The Brooklyn Navy Yard holds within its boundaries more than two hundred years of history, which will finally be presented to the public in the form of a magnificent $27 million, 33,300 square-foot museum and visitor’s center.

The museum, set to open this Friday, Veteran’s Day, will be housed in the 19th century house of the marine commandant on the 300-acre, former navy shipyard, transformed into a city-owned industrial park.

The museum will celebrate its history, dating back to 1801, with cutting edge interactive displays, oral histories on video from former workers and other fascinating exhibits. Included in the offerings is a huge naval-operations collection of files which is rivaled only by the Washington DC based National Archives.

“We are sharing an incredible history that few people have ever heard of, from the Yard’s role in Navy operations worldwide to the development of manufacturing technology here,” said Andrew Kimball, CEO of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp.

The opening on Friday marks the very first time in the history of the 210 year old site that the public will be able to enter the area without first going through security. The entrance to the museum is at the intersection of Flushing and Carlton Avenues, no admission charged.

Daniella Romano is the curator of the museum. She has spent the past five years sifting over more than 40,000 maps, photos, blueprints and other assorted documents from the navy yard. The majority of the documents have been scanned for the use of the public to view electronically.

Among the most famous of the navy yard’s 80 ships that were built or commissioned there were the first American iron-clad warship, the 1862 Monitor; and the infamous USS Arizona, built in 1915 and sunk at Pearl Harbor in 1941 by the Japanese. Many discoveries in medicine were made at the navy yard, including the introduction of anesthetic ether in 1854 by Navy surgeon ER Squibb.

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