Navy Yard Power House – North Charleston, South Carolina
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This Neoclassical blonde-brick building in the former Charleston Navy Yard, later called the Charleston Naval Shipyard and then the Charleston Naval Base, sits on the bank of the Cooper River in North Charleston.
The Charleston Naval Base operated from 1903 through 1996 after being recommended for closure in 1993. The power house, also called the central power plant, was built in 1909 and is the most prominent and architecturally captivating building in this industrial district.
The buildings in the Charleston Navy Yard currently sit abandoned, now ghosts of the submariners who were trained here through the late twentieth century. Since the base’s closing, plans have been in the works for refurbishing and revitalizing the area and preserving some of its historical buildings, including the power house.
The Navy Yard Power House is listed in the National Register as part of the Charleston Navy Yard Historic District, which says the following:
The Charleston Navy Yard Historic District is nationally significant as the core collection of historic resources illustrating the establishment, growth, and development of the Charleston Navy Yard (later the Charleston Naval Shipyard and still later the Naval Base Charleston) from 1903 through 1945. The historic district includes 57 contributing historic buildings, structures, and objects associated with the Charleston Navy Yard, which served the United States Navy from 1903 to 1996. The historic resources in the district include machine shops, storage facilities, a power house, drydocks, piers, administrative facilities, and other buildings and structures related to ship construction and repair.
Properties contributing to the significance of the district fall into four time periods and associated forms of architectural styles: the Neo-Classical style employed during the establishment and early years of the installation from 1903 to ca. 1910; the Moderne industrial form from the 1910s to the end of World War I; the Moderne construction of federal works projects from the inter-war period; and the largely utilitarian forms prevalent from the emergency period of the late 1930s through the end of World War II.
The largest number of resources in the district relate to the shipyard’s dramatic development just before and throughout World War II, a period when the Charleston Navy Yard experienced its most significant period of expansion. The primary role of the shipyard during World War II was to build and repair destroyers and destroyer escorts. The vessels constructed at the shipyard are well-documented for their contributions to the eventual Allied victory. At the end of war, the Navy drastically reduced the workload at the Charleston Navy Yard, but the yard was an active installation throughout the Cold War and until 1996.
Navy Yard Power House Info
Address: 1975 North Hobson Avenue, North Charleston, SC 29405
Navy Yard Power House Map
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