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Boston Navy Yard

WELCOME to The Boston or Charleston Navy Yard

Boston Navy Yard - BEST Massachusetts Places to PicnicThe Boston Navy Yard, originally called the Charlestown Navy Yard and after 1945 called Boston Naval Shipyard, was one of the oldest shipbuilding facilities of the United States Navy. 

Established in 1801, it was officially closed July 1, 1974, and the 30-acre property was transferred to the National Park Service to be part of Boston National Historical Park. Enough of the yard remains in operation to support the USS Constitution

The USS Cassin Young, a World War II-era destroyer serving as a museum ship, is also berthed here. Among people in the area and the National Park Service, it is still known as the Charlestown Navy Yard.

History

The earliest naval shipbuilding activities in Charlestown, Massachusetts began during the American Revolutionary War. The land for the Charlestown Navy Yard was purchased in 1801 and the yard itself established shortly thereafter. The yard built the first US ship of the line, USS Independence, but was primarily a repair and storage facility until the 1890s, when it started to build steel ships for the "New Navy". By now, it was called the Boston Navy Yard.

On June 24, 1833, the staff and dignitaries including Vice President Martin Van Buren, Secretary of War Lewis Cass, Secretary of the Navy Levi Woodbury, and many Massachusetts officials, witnessed "one of the great events of American naval history": the United States frigate Constitution was inaugurating the first naval dry-dock in New England. On March 14, 1975 the historic ship floated out of the dock--the last commissioned vessel to use the facility.

The Ropewalk supplied cordage used in the Navy from the time it opened in 1837 until the Yard closed in 1975. After the Civil War, the Yard was downgraded to an Equipment and Recruit Facility.

In the 1890s, the Navy began expanding and that brought new life to the Yard. In the first years of the 20th century, a second dry-dock was added. 

During WWII, it worked to fix British Ships damaged by the Germans. In the post war period, it worked on modernizing vessels through Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM). The Korean War and Vietnam War didn't bring much work to the Yard since it was so far from the fighting.

Today

The Yard closed after the Vietnam War ended and now, as part of the Boston National Historical Park, it has a new mission: "to interpret the art and history of naval shipbuilding." 

The Yard hosts many attractions. The fully commissioned USS Constitution and the museum ship USS Cassin Young (DD-793) are tied up at Pier 1 and open to the public (as the Constitution is a US Navy ship, consult her official website before visiting). 

The Navy Yard also hosts the USS Constitution Museum. Dry-dock No. 1 is still used for ship maintenance, mostly on historic vessels.

The Yard is at one end of the Freedom Trail and is seen by thousands every year. The MBTA Water Shuttle stops at nearby Pier 3, providing easy visitor access to the Yard.

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