The Brooklyn Navy Yard has opened up a new green space on the edge of its property, giving access to this part of the property for the first time in 90 years. The Naval Cemetery Landscape, located at 63 Williamsburg Street West, celebrated its grand opening on May 20. It was commissioned by the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative in partnership with the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, and provides a peaceful oasis to an otherwise industrial area.
The landscape was previously a functional cemetery from 1831 to 1910, where more than 2000 US Navy and Marine Corp officers and enlisted men were laid to rest. In 1926, the remains of the men were moved to the Cypress Hills National Cemetery, putting the Naval Cemetery out of commission. Now, the 1.7 acre site is advertised as “an escape from the built environment along the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway. The purpose of the Naval Cemetery Landscape is for people to visit the space, while maintaining its original reverence.
From Wednesday through Sunday, visitors can come to the Naval Cemetery Landscape between 8 am and 8 pm. A raised, wooden platform surrounds the lush greenery, equipped with three seating areas. One of the benches in the space provides visitors with a yellow notebook and pen in a small nook to document their time at the landscape. Though the landscape has only been opened for a short time, visitors have expressed their appreciation for the scenic environment and have even drawn comedic sketches throughout the notebook.
In addition to relaxing, the Naval Cemetery Landscape also plans to provide a number of co-sponsored events for people to enjoy, including free outdoor yoga every Wednesday.
Next, read about 10 Under the Radar NYC Waterfront Parks Across the 5 Boroughs and see photos of Duke Riley’s Fly by Night pigeon project, also at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Follow the author @jen_bagcal.