Brooklyn Navy Yard – Historic Beam and Truss Repair

Sitting on docks originally used to build merchant vessels during the American Revolution, the Brooklyn Navy Yard was one of the first five naval ship yards commissioned under President John Adams. The docks and 40 acres of surrounding land were purchased by the Federal Authorities in 1801, and would eventually contain naval offices, storehouses, barracks, and even homes for high ranking officers in what was called Admiral’s Row.

1944 picture of yard

Brooklyn’s naval ship-making came to a halt in 1979. However, the rich history of the yard still remains as it was named a Historic District by the National Register of Historic Places. The former naval ship yard has since boomed into an industrial park, sitting on 300 acres and growing.

current aerial view

The wood and handmade brick structures have seen their fair share of weathering, a few of which have been standing tall since the yard’s opening over 200 years ago. Some buildings fell into such deep disrepair that they were eventually demolished. However, some survive to this day due to the diligent work of contactors such as Luigi Caliendo & Sons. The family-run contracting business has been in operation since 1973, and has been fortunate enough to be a preferred contractor of the Brooklyn Navy Yard for over 20 years. Under the leadership of Caliendo’s sons; the company has since expanded to include residential repairs, concrete, custom builds and demolitions under the names North East Service Interiors and RJS Construction & Development.

Beam prior to repair

Beam strengthened with LiquidWood® and repaired with WoodEpox®

The restoration of such historic structures is no small task, but the Caliendo family is not one to shy away – having completed just about 35 percent of all jobs at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Most recently, they have been tasked with the repair and restoration of wood beams and roof trusses for the yard, a job made much easier with the help of ABATRON’s LiquidWood® and WoodEpox®.

The brothers admitted to being skeptical at first upon hearing about ABATRON products’ capabilities to repair and replace missing parts in old wood structures. However, they quickly became believers after seeing LiquidWood® strengthen and consolidate the decayed wood sections. They even noted how impressed they were with the structural similarity of the WoodEpox® to the original wood, after having filled in and rebuilt the weathered areas.  Due to the sheer size of the projects completed at the yard, budget is often a top consideration in the decision of whether to repair or replace. The use of ABATRON wood repair products was the answer to this dilemma, and was quickly approved by the yard for use on all future restoration jobs.

As Richard Moe of the National Trust for Historical Preservation once said, “There may have been a time when preservation was about saving an old building here or there, but those days are gone. Preservation is about saving communities and the values they embody”.

For construction and development projects in the New York area, contact Ron Smith at

To learn more about the Brooklyn Navy Yard and its work to develop into the future, please visit