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Guide to the Anthony Costanzo Brooklyn Navy Yard collection ARC.023

128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY, 11201

Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Patricia Glowinski

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on November 22, 2011
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Costanzo, Anthony M., 1923-2008
Title: Anthony Costanzo Brooklyn Navy Yard collection
Dates [inclusive]: 1952-1970
Quantity: 1.75 Linear feet in two manuscript boxes and one oversize box.
Text [Box]: ARC.023 1 of 3
Text [Oversize]: ARC.023 3 of 3
Mixed materials [Box]: ARC.023 2 of 3
Call Phrase: ARC.023
Sponsor: This collection was processed and described as part of the project, 'Uncovering the Secrets of Brooklyn's 19th Century Past: Creation to Consolidation,' funded by the Council on Library and Information Resources.

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Biographical/Historical note

Anthony M. Costanzo was born in Pittsburgh, PA on April 17, 1923. He grew up in Pittsburgh, became an accomplished jazz drummer, and served in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. After the war, Costanzo attended Duquesne University and then transferred to Northwestern University where he received a BS in Journalism in 1955. After working as a reporter, editor, and columnist for the Chicago Sun Times, he moved to New York City where he worked in advertising and public relations. He also attended Teachers College, Columbia University where he earned a MS in Education in 1963. Also while in New York City, Costanzo served as Public Information Officer for the U.S. Department of the Navy at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. He held this position until the decommissioning of the Navy Yard in 1966. After the decommissioning, Costanzo served as Public Relations Director and Public Records Access Officer for the New York State Department of Civil Service in Albany, N.Y. He retired from this position in 1988. Costanzo died on December 3, 2008 and was buried with military honors at the Gerald B.H. Solomon-Saratoga National Cemetery in Schuylerville, N.Y.

The origins of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, officially known as the New York Naval Shipyard, date back to 1801, when the United States Navy acquired what had previously been a small, privately owned shipyard in order to construct naval vessels. Historic vessels constructed or launched at the Navy Yard include Robert Fulton's steam frigate, the Fulton, the USS  Arizona, the USS  Missouri, and the USS  Antietam. During the Civil War, the Navy Yard employed about 6,000 people. By 1938, it provided jobs for over 10,000 people. When the Defense Department ceased shipbuilding activities at the Navy Yard in 1966, 88 vessels had been manufactured at the facility. It had also grown to encompass 291 acres with 270 major buildings, 24 miles of railroad tracks, 23,278 linear feet of crane tracks, 18 miles of paved roads, 16,495 feet of berthing space, 9 piers, 6 dry docks, and 22 shops housing 98 different trades. In 1967, the Brooklyn Navy Yard was acquired by the City of New York and was converted for private commercial use.


  1. Obituaries, Anthony M. Costanzo, December 11, 2008, Saratoga Today. (accessed June 23, 2010).
  2. Shipworker, June 24, 1966.
  3. New York Naval Shipyard (NYNSY). Federation of American Scientists. (accessed June 30, 2010).

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Scope and Contents note

The Anthony Costanzo Brooklyn Navy Yard Collection contains materials documenting the years just prior to the decommissioning of the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1966. The collection includes Brooklyn Navy Yard directories, booklets, programs, invitations to ship christenings, press releases, a manuscript on the history of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, photographs, newspaper clippings, souvenirs, official letters, promotional materials relating to the last years of the shipbuilding era of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a small piece of the flight deck of the USS Hornet, and newspaper articles relating to Presidents Kennedy, Nixon, and Ford. The photographs show images of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, worker protests against the Navy Yard's decommissioning, and photographs of Robert F. Kennedy's visit to the Brooklyn Navy Yard in the 1960s. The collection is organized into three series:  Papers,  Photographs, and  Oversize material.

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Access Points

Document Type

  • Magazines (periodicals)
  • Pamphlets
  • Photographs
  • Printed ephemera
  • Programs (documents)

Subject Organizations

  • Hornet (Aircraft carrier: CVS-12).
  • Lexington (Aircraft carrier: 1943-1991).
  • New York Naval Shipyard.
  • Shangri-La (Aircraft carrier: CVS-38).

Subject Topics

  • Navy-yards and naval stations
  • Shipbuilding -- New York (State) -- New York

Subject Places

  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)

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Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restriction.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction rights for the photographs have not been evaluated. Please consult library staff for more information.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date (if known); Anthony Costanzo Brooklyn Navy Yard collection, ARC.023, Box and Folder number; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Anthony M. Costanzo, 1987.

Processing Information note

Minimally processed to the series level.

This collection combines the accessions 1988.020 and V1988.037.

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Container List

Series 1: Papers, 1952-1970. 0.6 Linear feet in 2 manuscript boxes.

Scope and Contents

This series includes Brooklyn Navy Yard directories; new employee orientation booklets; invitations and programs for ship christenings; press releases, memos, bulletins and ephemera relating to the decommissioning of the Brooklyn Navy Yard; and a manuscript, A Short History of the New York Navy Yard by Commander Thaddeus V. Tuleja, USNR-R.

Series 2: Photographs, circa 1960. 0.2 Linear feet in one folder located in Box 2.

Scope and Contents

This series consists of photographs of the shipyard, ships, and protest rallies relating to the decommissioning of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Included in the collection is a photograph album of a Cape Horn cruise of the USS Lexington, as well as, publicity shots of the USS  Lexington with aircraft; a photograph of the USS  Shangri-La; photographic portraits of Navy personnel at the Brooklyn Navy Yard including Rear Admiral John H. McQuilkin; and photographs of Robert F. Kennedy's visit to the Navy Yard. Some photographs are also located in the oversize box but they are duplicates of the photographs in this series.

Series 3: Oversize material, circa 1960. 1.0 Linear feet in one oversize box.

Scope and Contents

This series includes newspapers and newspaper clippings, photographs and one proclamation. The newspapers include several full editions of the New York Times. All newspapers and news clippings pertain to the Brooklyn Navy Yard with the exception of a full edition of the  New York Journal American announcing the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. All of the photographs in this series are reproduced in the Photographs series.

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