BAT Opens Her Wings

Rising like a concrete castle at the southern end of Sunset Park, the Brooklyn Army Terminal gives new meaning to the term “military-industrial complex”. A 97-acre living monument to Brooklyn’s military past, it has recently gotten some good press as a symbol of what manufacturing can look like in New York today. Last weekend it was abuzz with camera-wielding visitors eager to get a glimpse during Open House New York.

A few interesting facts about BAT:

– You’d never guess by looking at it, but Cass Gilbert, architect of the Woolworth building, designed BAT as well.

– Incredibly, the entire complex–4 million square feet!– was built in only 17 months. When it opened in 1918 as a military depot and supply base, word is that it broke a record for the most concrete poured and mixed in one day.

– Putting BAT on the map, this photo of the King was taken in 1958 before he departed to Germany.

– While there is only one pier at BAT today, this aerial from 1995 reveals 3 piers in the not-so-distant past.

Aerial source: US Geological Survey

– On 9/11, a Staten Island Ferry filled with people was diverted to BAT to help evacuate lower Manhattan.

– The City bought BAT from the Feds in 1981; Since then, it has invested $31 million into the building to put it back to work.

– Today, the two buildings are 93% occupied with over 70 light manufacturers and other businesses. BAT has 118 loading docks,  and a daycare center.

– 93 artists can rent space at $.77 per square foot, thanks to a Chashama/EDC initiative to create affordable artist space.

Here are some photos from this past weekend:

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