October 5, 2018
Department of the Interior Gives $3M to National Parks of Boston to Begin Planning for Redevelopment of the Charlestown Navy Yard
CHARLESTOWN, MA (October 5, 2018)—Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, alongside Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer, announced on Friday the approval of $3M to the National Parks of Boston to kick-off the activation of a new visitor experience plan for the Charlestown Navy Yard/Boston National Historical Park. A portion of these funds are appropriated for the design of a new USS Constitution Museum and Navy Yard visitor center that will be in Hoosac Warehouse located next to “Old Ironsides”.
“The Charlestown Navy Yard plan is an excellent example of how public-private partnerships can improve the visitor experience on our public lands,” Secretary Zinke said. “Interior sites tell our nation’s story, and the USS Constitution is a flagship of the great American naval tradition. Because of what we are doing here today, future generations will admire this majestic frigate in all her glory for many years to come. As a retired Navy SEAL Commander, I say Bravo Zulu to the men and women involved in this project for their creative vision and their willingness to work together.”
The Charlestown Navy Yard Partners, which includes the National Parks of Boston, USS Constitution Museum, USS Constitution, and the Naval History & Heritage Command Detachment Boston, unveiled a new Visitor Experience Plan. Developed by Waltham-based Sasaki Associates, the plan addresses opportunities in three key locations with the Navy Yard: the Gateway, Great Lawn, and Waterfront.
“The Visitor Experience Plan is the first of its kind for the National Park,” said National Parks of Boston General Superintendent Creasey. “We imagine that the park will be activated in ways that will offer experiential learning opportunities as well as connections to the broader community through special events and connections to the Navy Yard at-large, waterfront and harbor.”
The first step in this plan will address the Gateway of the Navy Yard that includes Gate 1 and Hoosac Warehouse, historically known as Hoosac Stores 1 & 2. Built in the mid-1890s Hoosac Warehouse became part of the Boston National Historical Park when the Charlestown Navy Yard closed in 1974. This building will serve as an orientation center, housing both the USS Constitution Museum and the National Park Service’s visitor center as well as offices for the two organizations.
Superintendent Creasey continued, “What is most exciting about this project is the number of partnerships that have been engaged in a collective vision for how all the pieces of this Navy Yard puzzle will fit together. Strategically located along the Freedom Trail, the new USS Constitution Museum and center will provide connections to the iconic historic sites throughout Boston as well as to the Boston Harbor Islands.”
The event included the singing of the National Anthem by Charlestown’s Warren-Prescott School Chorus and the ceremonial signing of a memorandum of understanding by Secretaries Zinke and Spencer, Michael Creasey, USS Constitution’s Commanding Officer Nathaniel Shick, and USS Constitution Museum President Anne Grimes Rand and concluded with the firing of “Old Ironsides’” saluting battery.
More information about the Visitor Experience Plan can be found at www.charlestownnavyyard.org.
Boston National Historical Park
In the 18th century, Boston was the hub of a revolution which saw the break of American colonies from the British Empire. The homes (Paul Revere), places of worship (Old North Church), halls of debate (Faneuil Hall and Old South Meeting House), areas of demonstration (Old State House), and sites of burial of these Boston revolutionaries form the core of Boston National Historical Park and Boston’s Freedom Trail®. The park was established as a partnership among historic sites that are owned and operated by state, municipal, and non-profit organizations that tell the ongoing struggle of defining citizenship, freedom, and individual liberty.
For more information, visit: www.nps.gov/bost
USS Constitution Museum
Celebrating over 40 years, the USS Constitution Museum serves as the memory and educational voice of USS Constitution by collecting, preserving, and interpreting the stories of “Old Ironsides” and those associated with her. This award-winning, not-for-profit, educational institution welcomes over 400,000 visitors each year and provides a hands-on, minds-on environment where inter-generational groups seeking an enjoyable, educational experience can have fun while learning and exploring history together. The USS Constitution Museum’s goal is to educate and engage a global audience through scholarship and innovative, educational programs and to share the legacy of USS Constitution, America’s Ship of State.
For more information, visit: www.usscm.org
USS Constitution, America’s Ship of State, actively defended sea lanes against global threats from 1797-1855. The World’s Oldest Commissioned Warship Afloat, Constitution embodies 220 years of maritime heritage and unwavering service to her country. Now a featured destination on Boston’s Freedom Trail, Constitution and her crew of active duty U.S. Navy Sailors offer community outreach and education about the ship’s history and the importance of naval sea power to more than 500,000 visitors each year. Constitution is berthed at Pier 1 in Charlestown Navy Yard.
For more information, visit: www.navy.mil/local/constitution
Naval History & Heritage Command
The Naval History & Heritage Command, Washington, D.C. (NHHC) is the official history program of the Department of the Navy. The mission of the Naval History & Heritage Command Detachment Boston is to perform all restoration work on USS Constitution. The Detachment’s ship restorers and riggers ensure that America’s Ship of State is preserved and maintained and represents Constitution’s War of 1812 configuration as far as practicable.
For more information, visit: www.history.navy.mil