Following the British occupation of New York during the American Revolution, Wallabout Bay was the mooring site for prison hulks, aboard which thousands of American prisoners were incarcerated and died.
In 1801, the United States government established a navy yard, which continued in operation for 160 years. Important vessels built here ranged from Robert Fulton’s steam frigate Fulton (1815) to World War II-era battleships North Carolina, Iowa and Missouri and aircraft carriers Bennington, Bon Homme Richard, Kearsarge, Oriskany and Franklin D. Roosevelt. With so much other activity, the yard built only two destroyers, Farragut-class Hull and Dale but was a key base where many others fitted out.
After closing in 1966, the yard was converted to private manufacturing and commercial activity. Today, the site has over 200 tenants, including a major motion picture and television studio complex completed in 2004, and is managed by the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation.