The Navy Yard once employed 70,000 workers, both naval and civilian, building military vessels until 1966. It still operates today as a center for industrial development, and with an added consideration for sustainability (in the design of Building 92, open to the public - a LEED Platinum rated building), in the industries growing there (technology, whiskey distillery, The Grange - the largest rooftop garden in NYC), and engaging with the public to revitalize the idea of industry as a meaningful career path for young adults.
At the height of its operation, 10,000 women worked at the Navy Yard. Half of those women were welders, the other half worked in administrative positions. Below is a photograph of a group of women leaving the Sand Street exit after their shift (dated from WWII). The woman in the middle is carrying a bottle of milk. Milk was known to dilute the metallic taste welders would get from working.
Every Friday, all 70,000 workers were paid from the Paymaster’s Building. To alleviate the congestion of that many people filing in to be paid, a trolley car drove around to pay some employees.
Today the building, a distillery, looks like this:
by Alanna Jaworski