May 8, 2017

Brooklyn Army Terminal

For the first half of Obscura Day, I took a tour of the Brooklyn Army Terminal run by Turnstile Tours. The terminal was built to facilitate the transfer of goods and personnel from train to boat during World War I, however it wasn’t completed until after WWI was over. It was used extensively in WWII, and closed in the 1970s. It was bought by NYC in 1981 and rennovated to be used for manufacture and industrial use.

Main Entrance
In allow undisturbed flow of trains, skybridges were used to connect the buildings to each other.
Trains would drive into the building, where a crane would lift crates up to the “balconies” on the various floors.
An old Long Island Rail Road car sitting in the building, a reminder of the building’s past life
Cat who adopted the building as its home. People who work in the building leave food and water for it. The look on its face is, “You’re close enough...”.

It had poured the day before and into the early morning of the sixth. Luckily, it had stopped raining and was overcast at the beginning of the tour, but by the time we had made our way to the main attraction, the sky had begun to clear up and the sun started producing some interesting shadows.

The crane that would lift crates off the trains and onto balconies
The terminal was segmented by destination country, and you could still see many of the destinations painted on the wall. This one is “Africa odd countries”
Andrew, the tour leader, explaining, with pictures, how the terminal worked
The concrete sticking out over the windows near the top of the building are water spouts to allow runoff from the roof when it rains

After the tour was over, I had to hightail it to Gowanus to visit the second stop of Obscura Day, Lite Brite Neon Studio.