Admirals Row, Brooklyn (History)

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(Neighborhoods In Brooklyn)

neighborhoods_brooklyn_admirals_rowAdmiral’s Row is a row of Second Empire style homes formerly used by naval officers in the New York City borough of Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and owned by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Some of the homes date back to the Civil War. U.S. Navy closed the original Navy Yard in the mid-1960s, it continued to house some personnel in the officers’ houses until the mid-1970. The property is currently undergoing a Section 106 review by the National Guard. On April 15, 2008, they launched a website in order to invite public involvement in the proceedings. An open meeting was held on July 23, 2008, from 7-9 PM, at which the public was asked to weigh in on the preservation of the structures. The results of that meeting are published on the National Guard website, as well as considered in the Alternatives Report for the site.

Although Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation president Andrew Kimball has claimed that the residences have been damaged beyond repair by the elements, the report prepared by the United States Army Corps of Engineers refutes this claim, suggesting that the residences are not only excellent candidates for rehabilitation, but meet all eligibility requirements for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, both individually and as a district. The New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has agreed with this assessment and has suggested that alternatives to demolition, including adaptive reuse, must be considered.

The property on which the Row stands encompasses approximately 8 acres (32,000 m2). Some of the residences are divided into two or three units. The designations of the buildings, along Flushing Avenue from West (Navy Street) to East, are:

  • A timber shed
  • Quarters K, Quarters L
  • Quarters H, Quarters C
  • Quarters B
  • Quarters D
  • Quarters E, Quarters F, Quarters G
  • Quarters I

Also on the grounds are:

  • A tennis court
  • A greenhouse
  • Garages for each resident
  • Quarters J, a mostly-collapsed house belonging to the groundskeeper for the Row

Quarters A, the Commandant’s residence, was not located on the Row. Of the structures on the Row, Quarters B is the most intricately styled and is currently in the best condition of any of the residences. An evaluation is currently underway to determine whether quarters B & D may be attributed to architect Thomas U. Walter, who designed the Kirkbride structure at St. Elizabeths Hospital, as suggested by the report.


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