Brooklyn Navy Yard: Admiral's Row

March 13th, 2008 -

Admiral's Row is located in the southwest corner of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. This strip of six buildings was abandoned by the Navy in the 1970's and left to decay. Today, the interiors of several buildings are in a state of irreparable collapse. Fires and rain have destroyed roofs and floors while squatters have left mountains of debris. Vines and trees have moved indoors. Windows and walls have exploded inwards. Entire floors are missing.

However, some of the buildings are in remarkably good condition. Their staircases, light fixtures, plasterwork, shelves, mantlepieces and wood floors are only in need of polish and paint. The beauty of these architectural details, when compared to the complete devastation in other buildings, is a stunning indictment of the Navy's neglect.

These historic buildings now stand empty and quiet, though their demolition is being planned to create a new supermarket. This controversial idea has been featured in the NY Times and written about at length on Brownstoner and Curbed. Historical information about Admiral's Row can be found at These photos were taken in conjunction with the The Kingston Lounge, and in association with Pasilalinic-Sympathetic Compass, both of which have more photos of Admiral's Row.

For more photoessays from the Brooklyn Navy Yard,
click here.

Open Door

Pink Bathroom

Kitchen Window

Kitchen Cabinets

Fallen Plaster and Steps

Top Floor

Bathroom Detail

Blue Room


Entry Steps

Grand Ballroom

Dropped Ceiling

Fixture and Wall


Daylight Savings


  1. Hi Nathan,

    Your photos are amazing! I've enjoyed keeping up with your posts over the last month or so.
    I'm currently working (as a middle school social studies teacher) at MS 265, literally a block away from the Brooklyn Navy Yard (we're Park @ N Oxford), so it's been especially interesting to see the photos of the buildings that I can see from my classroom window. I've shown the Navy Yard photos to my students, many of whom grew up in the shadow of these buildings, and they've been grateful for the access to such a secretive place.
    As an amateur photographer, I'm wondering how you get access to such places--I know (or think, anyway) that access is restricted to most of these buildings. When you're out in buildings like that, or in the tunnels beneath East New York, are you traveling alone? How safe is it to explore these areas?
    Hope you have time to answer those questions. Either way, though, I've really enjoyed looking at your photographs, and I'll look forward to future posts!

    -BCW (redrawblak)

  2. really amazing photos! great shots abstracting the skewed nature of the structures.

  3. Thank you for shedding more light on such a beautiful, historic set of buildings. My own treks through them have sometimes left me at a loss of how to capture the overall feeling these old structures evoke, and you've done it commendably.

    The best of luck as you continue to document the Navy Yard.

  4. You got some great shots, and that was quite a fun trip!

    The two which stand out for me the most are the really cool (colour-temperature-wise) shot of the 3rd floor stairs in Quarters B, and the first-light shot of the window in Q I.

    Bummer about Quarters J though, huh? ;)

  5. Wow, fantastic shots. The power of bureaucracy...

  6. Incredible photos. Thank you for these.

    Keep up the good work!

  7. Hi Nathan

    Interesting pictures. If you are interesting in seeing the last ships built in the Navy Yard 1967-1978, check out my web site.
    Admiral Row was still being used as Navy houseing in 1976.
    I wrote the book Brooklyn Steel-Blood Tenacity. I tell what it was like working for Seatrain Shipbuilding inside the Navy Yard.

  8. I Love these photos, keep it up. I used to ride my bike there at night in 2001 and 2002 and always wanted to check it out, but there were a few big junkyard type dogs inside the fence that would run along the fence and let me know if I was planning on visiting they were planning on greeting me. I guess those dogs are gone.

  9. I may have a wedding in the area and do the portraits in the shipyard area.
    Any ideas that will be fun and edgy for wedding portraits? cheryl fleming photography
    great shots~

  10. I lived on the Navy Yard when I was 6 years old; my dad was stationed there in 1969. I attended kindergarten and 1st grade at PS102. I recognize all the rooms, especially the living room and the beautiful staircase. I have a memory of going to the Admiral's house on the hill and watching parades across from my house. And the wall, gate and guard house.

  11. We lived on Admirals row for about 6 weeks in 1977 while waiting for Quarters R4A at the the Naval Support Activity Brooklyn (NSA). Our house on Admirals row was haunted.

    1. Hello, could you give any kind of details that would help identify which house it was you were in? I live nearby and I'm planning on checking them out. Thank you

  12. Hi, so sad to see these pictures. When I was a journalist in the Navy stationed in NYC, working in downtown Manhattan, I lived in one of these building. The whole complex was a lovely place to live and a nice retreat from the city. It is so sad that these buildings and property were abandoned! There is a lot of history on that property and I hate to see a supermarket of all things be built. Former Navy WAVE. Peggy

  13. I love the Daylight Savings photo. The sunlight streaming through the window is beautiful.