Tronvig Group To Brooklyn Navy Yard
Two and a half years ago when we moved to DUMBO from Manhattan, we were riding what turned into a wave of creative agency migration into Brooklyn. We immediately fell in love, but our lease is now up, and we are making a slight lateral adjustment into a larger space in the legendary Brooklyn Navy Yard (follow the preceding link to and watch “Reinventing the Yard Main” at the bottom of the page). As of April 18, 2013, we are in residence in Building 280, which is—unbelievably—even larger than the one we are leaving, and it has even more artists and artisans working within its walls.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard is itself very much on the rise, and it’s slightly closer to the edge of what’s next in the creative and creative manufacturing space. It is not steeped in amenities like the increasingly residential DUMBO. We will miss some of that, I am sure, but Building 280 (looking black just under the power station with two stacks) is still a relatively short walk from the York Street station on the F line. The difference is that our new neighbors are the likes of the Kings County Distillery and the cafe in Building 92 instead of Zakka and St. Anne’s Warehouse. People are more likely to come to work at 8AM instead of 10AM, and maybe we will start serving our clients a shot of bourbon once they get past the guard house…
Before I get carried away, please note our new address:
Brooklyn Navy Yard
63 Flushing Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205
One would think that I’d have no personal connection to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, but it is possible to find connections from almost any seemingly distant point to nearly any other. In my academic career I spent a good deal of time immersed in the study of Japanese art history, and along with that came a lot of political history, of course. This remains part of my cognitive horizon. So as I was reading the history of the Navy Yard, a small historical detail leaped out. There is probably no living adult Japanese who does not know the name Matthew Perry. Most Americans, I’d wager, have never heard of him. Well, it turns out that Captain Matthew Perry commanded the Brooklyn Navy Yard from 1841-1843.
He went on to become Commodore Perry (pictured above is his Second Fleet), and in 1853-4, he was ordered on a mission by President Millard Fillmore to “open Japan.” Leaving aside the details, he succeeded, and this act ultimately precipitated—among other things—the Meiji Restoration, which set Japan on its accelerated 19th-century dash to modernize and become a great power on the model of the great western powers. Most Americans can pick up the story from there.
One final note. Below is an 1874 photo of the first ship named USS Enterprise. It was built in the Navy Yard in 1831.