Due to the closure of the Naval Weapons Plant, the need for land at the Washington Navy Yard was reduced, and the western border ended at Sixth Street. In January 1965, the Navy created Naval District Washington and headquartered the district at the Yard. As the National Mall in Washington, D.C. began a transformation in 1970, the Navy relocated some of the Main Navy Building offices on Constitution Avenue to the Washington Navy Yard, including the Naval History Division, which later became Naval History and Heritage Command. Over the next decade, numerous naval commands, such as Military Sealift Command, also relocated to the Yard, expanding the administrative center. Presidential yacht Sequoia was in use at the Yard until 1977 when President Jimmy Carter discontinued its use.
Also in 1977, the Chief of Naval Operations residence relocated from the Naval Observatory to Tingey House. In the mid-1980’s, the decommissioned destroyer, USS Barry (DD-933) was moved to the Yard’s piers for visitation and within walking distance of the National Museum of the U.S. Navy. As the Cold War drew to an end, the Navy reduced budgets and relocated more naval activities in the vicinity such as Naval Sea Systems Command to the Yard. In 2012, the Cold War Gallery opened in Building 70. In early 2016, due to costly repairs and a planned new bridge that would have trapped her in the Anacostia River, Barry was towed away with numerous Washingtonians bidding her farewell. As the history still unfolds and with the administrative center continuing to grow at the Washington Navy Yard, it has become what the Naval District Washington has declared “the Quarterdeck of the Navy representing the best of Navy and the United States of America.”
Image: 330-CFD-DN-ST-85-09598: Aerial view of the Washington Navy Yard, circa 1985. The Forest Sherman class destroyer ex-USS Barry (DD-933) visible in the center was towed in early 2016. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.