Yesterday was a big day at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, with Mayor Bloomberg and numerous other officials in attendance to cheer a number of initiatives that have taken form or been announced in recent months like the Perry Building, which is the nation’s first multi-story green industrial building, as well as the impending state-of-the-art renovations for the Duggal and Agger Fish buildings. (More on those projects here, here and here.) While we’re enthusiastic about all of those projects, the unpublicized story of the day was the most exciting to us: The restoration of the two original gate houses at the Sands Street entrance to the Navy Yard. We spied workers atop the structure earlier this week (photo) and got confirmation from Navy Yard president Andrew Kimball yesterday that the restoration had just begun. The current structure that most people are familiar with is actually a wooden exterior that was added over the two gate houses about 40 years ago and appropriated more recently by the tow pound. The entire wood skeleton is coming down and the brick and marble gate houses are going to be restored to their original splendor, minus two turrets that appear to be permanently gone. We give the BNYDC a lot of grief over Admiral’s Row but in this case they deserve a lot of praise for this worthwhile preservation effort. It should be exciting to watch! Update: We just got our hands on a rendering of the aerial view of the Sands Street entrance when the restoration in complete. Click through to check it out.