Charlestown Navy Yard

Your Guide
Gabrielle Weiss

The site of one of the first naval yards in the country, the Charlestown Navy Yard is no longer an active naval shipyard. It is the home to the USS Constitution, the longest commissioned vessel in the U.S. Navy, as well as the USS Cassin Young. Active-duty naval officers work on and maintain the ship, and so it continues in some ways as a working landscape. A major force in several 1812 battles, the USS Constitution is the centerpiece of the national park at the navy yard.

Historic rail tracks crisscross the site, and historic living quarters like Commandant’s Mansion are still lived in today. Childs Bertman and Tsekares and Carol R. Johnson Associates designed the transition of this space from a working naval yard into a national park. A large lawn is the site of summer concerts and picnics and is ringed by shade trees. The space surrounding the Commandant’s Mansion is maintained as a Victorian-era garden with a richly planted entry path and brick walk. Historic naval elements such as cannon and sights are placed throughout the site, reinforcing the story of this space.

The Charlestown Navy Yard can be reached by walking along the Harborwalk from North Station, following the Freedom Trail from Bunker Hill, or walking from Community College Station.

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