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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Photo # NH 51928-KN:  Washington Navy Yard, D.C., with shad fishers in the foreground, 1861

Online Library of Selected Images:
-- PLACES -- UNITED STATES -- WASHINGTON, D.C.

Washington Navy Yard, Naval Gun Factory and Naval Weapons Plant --
Overview and Special Image Selection

In its more than two centuries of existence, the Washington Navy Yard has experienced both physical growth and significant changes in mission. Initially established as a storage and shipbuilding facility, in the middle of the Nineteenth Century it was changed to a heavy industrial plant, primarily concerned with the development, construction and testing of naval guns. The facility grew significantly as the Navy expanded during the early 1900s and during the two World Wars, when it produced much of the ordnance material that armed the fleet. Its name was formally changed to Naval Gun Factory soon after the end of World War II, and again to Naval Weapons Plant in 1959 as guided missiles displaced guns as the Navy's principal shipboard armament. However, within a few years, as part of a general Defense Department shift away from Government-owned production facilites, the Plant's industrial work ceased, much of its land was diverted to non-Navy uses and its name reverted to Washington Navy Yard. During the subsequent four decades, it emerged as a major administrative center, with a considerable historical presence, and has recently seen many of its old industrial buildings modified for new purposes or replaced by more modern structures.

This page features selected views of the Washington Navy Yard, D.C., including images from its time as the Naval Gun Factory and Naval Weapons Plant.

For more pictures of the Washington Navy Yard, D.C., see:

  • Washington Navy Yard -- Overall Views.

    If you want higher resolution reproductions than the Online Library's digital images, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

    Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

    Photo #: NH 51928-KN (Color)

    "The Washington Navy Yard, with Shad Fishers in the Foreground"

    Hand color-tinted copy of a line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 20 April 1861, depicting the Washington Navy Yard, District of Columbia, as seen from the southern side of the Anacostia River.
    Note the uncompleted U.S. Capitol dome in the center distance.

    Courtesy of the U.S. Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 118KB; 740 x 560 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 79896-KN (Color)

    Washington Navy Yard, District of Columbia

    Colored lithograph published by E. Sachse & Company, Baltimore, Maryland, circa 1862. It depicts the Navy Yard as seen from above the Anacostia River, looking north, with Building # 1 and the trophy gun park in the center.

    Courtesy of Mrs. Worth Sprunt, 1974.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 84KB; 740 x 475 pixels

     
    Photo #: 80-G-454990

    Washington Navy Yard, District of Columbia


    Aerial view of the main part of the Navy Yard, looking north (and a little west) from over the Anacostia River, 18 December 1918. Photographed from a Naval Air Station Anacostia airplane.
    Note construction work in the Yard's eastern extension, to the right.
    Ferry steamer Boothbay (ID # 1708), which was later renamed Grampus, is in the lower right center, with USS Shuttle (ID # 3572) immediately off her bow (further to the right).

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

    Online Image: 146KB; 740 x 610 pixels

    Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

     
    Photo #: NH 90687

    Washington Navy Yard, District of Columbia


    Aerial view, looking northwest from over the Anacostia River, during the 1936 Potomac River flood.
    The U.S. Capitol building is visible in the right distance.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 136KB; 740 x 600 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 90707

    Washington Navy Yard, District of Columbia


    View of the Navy Yard and its vicinity, looking eastward from over the South Capitol Street area, circa 1960.
    The Yard's western edge, at First Street SE, is near the lower edge of the photo; its northern boundary, at M Street SE, is marked by the dark-colored street running nearly vertically in the left center. The Anacostia River runs diagonally from lower left to upper right center, crossed by the Eleventh Street Bridge (in center) and the Sousa Bridge (Pennsylvania Avenue) near the top.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 169KB; 690 x 615 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 57928

    Washington Navy Yard, D.C.


    View looking eastward along the waterfront from atop the roof of the western shiphouse, June 1866. The 11th Street bridge and the Anacostia shore are in the distance.
    Ships in the stream at right include three monitors and a former Confederate torpedo boat of the "large David" type. Monitor to the left in that group is either Chimo or Casco. The other two are Mahopac (center of group) and Saugus (to right). The ex-CSS Stonewall is anchored in the river, in the center of the view.
    Half visible on the marine railway (at left) is a "double-ender" gunboat, probably USS Ascutney. Dismasted screw steamer alongside the waterfront in center may be USS Marblehead. Ship in right foreground, alongside the masting sheers, may be USS Resaca.
    The experimental firing battery is just beyond the shiphouse, in the left center foreground, flanked by what appears to be a ship's smokestack on one side and a mortar and a shot pile on the other. Photographed by Brady & Company, Washington, D.C.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 134KB; 740 x 610 pixels

    Note:
    For more information on where this photograph was taken, see: Washington Navy Yard -- Comments on 1860s Views.

     
    Photo #: NH 57932

    Washington Navy Yard, D.C.


    View of the Naval Ordnance Yard in the western part of the Navy Yard, taken by Brady & Company in June 1866.
    Note the variety of smooth-bore and rifled cannon, mortars and round shot stored here.
    The photograph looks eastward. Camera location is on the roof of a low building located just west of the present (1997) Building # 73. The building in the center and right background is the present Building # 33. That in the left background is the present (and much modified) Building # 22.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 134KB; 740 x 615 pixels

    Note:
    For more information on where this photograph was taken, see: Washington Navy Yard -- Comments on 1860s Views.

     
    Photo #: NH 105062

    U.S. Naval Gun Factory, Washington Navy Yard, District of Columbia


    Panoramic photograph of the Navy Yard Commandant and Naval Gun Factory Superintendent with his staff, posed in front of the north face of Building 1, circa 1918-1919.
    In the the front row, directly behind the center of the identification board held by two Marines, is Captain Arthur L. Willard, Navy Yard Commandant and Naval Gun Factory Superintendent. Note the two banners held by Sailors on each side of the image, one featuring the Naval Gun Factory emblem and the other its seal.
    Panoramic photograph by Schutz, Washington, D.C.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image size: 101KB; 1200 x 300 pixels

     
    Photo #: 80-G-K-13882 (Color)

    Naval Gun Factory, Washington Navy Yard, D.C.

    Scene in the Foundry, during World War II.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

    Online Image: 107KB; 740 x 610 pixels

    Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

     

    For more pictures of the Washington Navy Yard, D.C., see:

  • Washington Navy Yard -- Overall Views.


    If you want higher resolution reproductions than the Online Library's digital images, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."


    Return to Naval Historical Center home page.

    Page made 3 February 2002
    Image added 2 October 2007