New York City’s largest and oldest industrial facility, the Brooklyn Navy Yard occupies 250-acres on the East River between the Williamsburg and Manhattan Bridges. As a cradle of naval evolution, the Yard has had to reinvent itself constantly, and its buildings and structures (dating from the 1830s to the 1950s) document its multiple incarnations. In 1971 the City of New York bought the complex with the intention of redevelopment and has subsequently transformed it into the City’s major industrial park. Although some ships are still repaired there, the Yard is now home to a variety of manufacturers and light industries, from film studios to design and fabrication shops.
Bartelstone has been photographing the site since 1994. His photographs are neither a history of the Navy Yard nor a depiction of its role as a modern industrial park; instead, the book offers a structured impression of a dreamscape.