The Brooklyn Navy Yard has long been a centerpiece of New York City economic industry and an engine of economic growth.

Its dry dock workers built many of the ships that allowed the U.S. Navy to battle fiercely in World War II. Rosie the Riveters earned equal pay by pushing their bosses to give them the $1.14 per hour men were paid.

And now movie studios, green tech companies and more have turned the site into one of the most active industrial sites in the country.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg led a celebration of the Brooklyn Navy Yard on Nov. 10, 2011, where he unveiled its new visitor's center, called BLDG 92 Brooklyn Navy Yard Center.

The day marked the first day the public has been allowed onto the grounds of the yard in two centuries, and the International Business Times was there to photographically document the occasion. The IB Times also received a number of historic images documenting the yard's history from the BLDG 92 Brooklyn Navy Yard Center.

The result is this exclusive, stunning gallery, which shows the progression of the Brooklyn Navy Yard from a bustling shipyard to a booming industrial park.

Read the exclusive IB Times coverage of the opening of BLDG 92 and the history of the navy yard