Navy Yard History


The United States established Charlestown Navy Yard in 1800 and operated it until 1974. During the Yard’s nearly 175 years, workers built more than 200 war ships and repaired thousands more. The Yard contained the Navy’s only ropewalk, which in 2016 is about to be redeveloped into residences. Thirty acres of the Yard became part of Boston National Historical Park, which preserves resources, hosts visitors, and leads programs that highlight USS Constitution, USS Cassin Young, and navy yard operations. The remaining acreage was acquired by the City of Boston’s Redevelopment Authority, which set out a plan for development that continues to be implemented into a fifth decade.

The National Park Service (NPS) published an exhaustive historical study of the Yard in 2010, including cultural landscapes: Charlestown Navy Yard Historic Resource Study, National Park Service in three volumes. Volume 1, covers the Yard’s historical significance, management, and context, 412 pp. Volume 2, describes the resources in details, 692 pp. Volume 3, includes six appendices and the index, 234 pp. A one-page errata is in a separate file. 
NPS published its 293-page Charlestown Navy Yard Cultural Landscape Report in 2007, which includes history of the site, current conditions, and analyses of the value of its resources.