By the start of the 20th century, the Brooklyn Navy Yard's impact could be seen across the world. This was particularly true after President Theodore Roosevelt ordered a fleet of 26 vessels to sail around the globe in an event that marked the United States as a global power. These ships were led by the USS Connecticut, which was built in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. However, the shipyard in Brooklyn did not reach the height of its fame until World War II. At the start of WWII, the USS Arizona, a ship built in the Brooklyn Ship Yard, was sunk by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, marking the entrance of the United States into the war. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Brooklyn Navy Yard doubled in size by purchasing land adjacent to it. By increasing its size, the Yard was able to handle the demands of the war by hiring 70,000 additional employees. At the end of the war, Japan signed the treaty pact atop the USS Missouri, which was also built in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard closed in 1966 just six years after a fuel explosion in the Yard killed 50 people working on the USS Constellation, an aircraft carrier. The closure was part of a downsizing project by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. When it closed, the Yard was the oldest industrial plant in New York still operating.
A museum honoring the memory of the Brooklyn Navy Yard was opened in 2011 at BLDG 92, which was built in 1857 to serve as the residence of the Marine Commandants. Thomas Walter, who was the architect of the U.S. Capitol, designed the original building. However, the building was in a state of disrepair when the decision was made to turn it into an exhibition museum for the Yard. Instead of demolishing the old building, the architects decided to maintain the shell of the structure by reinforcing the brick walls. Then, a four-story extension building was added onto the original building, which provides more space for educational classrooms, leasable offices, and meeting space.