Save Brooklyn's Industrial Heritage
The Municipal Art Society of New York

Brooklyn Army Terminal

(Originally the New York Port of Embarkation and Army Supply Base; U.S. Army Military Ocean Terminal).

On September 23, 1958, the nation’s eyes were on the Brooklyn Army Terminal. Elvis Presley and his troop shipped off to Germany from the terminal, like millions of soldiers before him. In fact, during WWII, many of the three million troops sent overseas and hundreds of millions of tons of military supplies passed through this military ocean supply facility.

Built by Turner Construction Co. in its second collaboration with Cass Gilbert, who the company recommended for the job after working with him on the Austin Nichols & Co. Warehouse. The complex was one of six port terminals built in record time to meet the needs of WWI. Its 91 acres of floor space saw heavy use in WWII, but it was taken out of service in 1960. New York City purchased BAT from the federal government in 1981 and has operated it as an industrial park, leasing space to small manufacturers.

Photo Credits:
Left: Historic American Engineering Record (Library of Congress)
Right: Michael Freedman-Schnapp

National Register Status: Listed on the National Register. HABS Documentation was prepared for the site.

Landmark Status: Not designated.

Threat: The building is owned by the City of New York’s Economic Development Corporation, who lease it to a variety of manufacturers. The building is not imminently threatened, but is unprotected. Development pressures are starting to increase in the southern reaches of Brooklyn and this building is of tremendous architectural and cultural significance to the nation.

Write to the Landmarks Preservation Commission and ask them to designate the complex as a landmark.

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