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The Brooklyn Navy Yard produced some of America's most famous fighting ships beginning in the early 1800s, including the USS Arizona (which was bombed at Pearl Harbor) and the USS Missouri (which saw the signing of documents officially ending World War II). President John Adams commissioned the building of the Navy Yard in 1801. The yard's hospital was built later, in 1838. It served injured soldiers from the time of the Civil War until the end of World War II.
1) The Naval Hospital is designed in Greek Revival style, featuring elegant white stone columns. 2) Edward Robinson Squibb, the founder of Squibb Pharmaceuticals, invented modern anesthesia during his stint as head of the hospital. 3) In its prime, the hospital was responsible for half of all medical products used on the front line of World War II. 4) The hospital was decommissioned in 1948 but remained active until 1966. 5) It has stood empty since 1966.
Today, the Brooklyn Naval Yard is home to industry (for instance, Sweet 'n Low is produced here) and Steiner Studios, a major film production studio responsible for "Girls," "Empire," "30 Rock" and "Spiderman 2," to name just a few. Steiner is expected to take control of the Naval Hospital in the future.
For the moment, however, the Naval Hospital appears relatively unchanged since its closing. Not much furniture remains inside, but the eerie beauty of the whitewashed walls contrasted by sunlight shining through blue-tinted windows hint help in imagining what might have happened inside its walls all those years ago. Tours of the hospital are currently available through Turnstile Tours, so enjoy the glimpse into the past while you still can.
Cover photo from Suren Karapetyan via Flickr