Twilight on the Waterfront: Brooklyn's Vanishing Industrial Heritage

From June 18 through August 30th, 2008, the Brooklyn Public Library featured an exhibition of my photographs titled "Twilight on the Waterfront: Brooklyn's Vanishing Industrial Heritage." This exhibit documented off-limits industrial sites along Brooklyn's waterfront, shedding light on what Brooklyn has lost to development over the last five years. The exhibit was drawn from my long-term photography project about Brooklyn's industrial waterfront and was displayed at the Central Library at Grand Army Plaza, in the Grand Lobby. The official library page for the show can be seen here.

"Twilight on the Waterfront" was featured in a New York Times article and slideshow and was described in a Gothamist review as "an impressive body of work" which "vividly documents the accidental beauty of decaying buildings." The Architects Newspaper stated in its review "the Brooklyn waterfront is strangely easy to overlook since the Manhattan skyline tends to dominate the view. But as Kensinger's photographs show, its texture and variety reward a closer look..."

The exhibit was also featured on Brownstoner, which has described these photographs as "urban guerrilla" photography and "well worth checking out." Finally, the Brooklyn Eagle wrote in their review "after... years of documentary filmmaking, Park Slope resident Nathan Kensinger has, with admirable success, added still photography to his repertoire."

Ironically, this exhibit opened the same day as the new Red Hook Ikea, and featured photos from the Todd Shipyard and the Revere Sugar Refinery, two historic structures destroyed during Ikea's construction. Brooklyn's entire industrial waterfront was recently listed as one of America's "11 most endangered" historic places by the National Trust For Historic Preservation.

Floyd Bennett Airfield

May 15th, 2008 -

Across the street from Dead Horse Bay lies Floyd Bennett Airfield, a part of the National Parks Service's neglected Gateway National Recreation Area. This abandoned airport houses decaying hangars, cracked runways, a ransacked police station, closed-off tunnels, lost boats and antique airplanes, all visible from its empty control tower. Floyd Bennett was New York City's first municipal airport and opened in 1931. Like JFK Airport, it is located on the shores of Jamaica Bay, a vast nature preserve. Its long history includes record-breaking flights by Howard Hughes, Amelia Earhart and "Wrong Way" Corrigan. Today, it hosts cricket players, a large community garden and a shiny new sports complex that has changed the quiet nature of the park.

Department of the Interior

Collapsed Interior


Police Station

Square Windows

Flushing Town Hall

Graffiti Room

Hangar Installation

Boiler Room


Nose Gunner