The National Park Service has proposed changes to the Charlestown Navy Yard that would include replacing the large, vacant Hoosac Stores warehouse next to the USS Constitution site with a new museum and visitor center.
The proposal also calls for demolition of a decaying World War II building at the end of the pier at which the Constitution is berthed, to be replaced by an open-air structure that would include sitting areas for visitors and space for outdoor events.
The Gateway to the Navy Yard will serve as both a port on the Freedom Trail and a portal to the rich history, contemporary relevance, and possible futures. This gateway will be an inviting space that allows people to create diverse experiences – opportunities for compelling programs, hands-on exhibitry, sweeping views of the harbor and city skyline, community spaces and moments for recharging and contemplation.
The proposed Gateway to the Navy Yard includes the construction of a new building along Constitution Road, which will integrate the NPS visitors center, USSCM and entry to the USS Constitution. Landscape enhancements will be noticeable with the restoration of historic buildings and restored artifacts like the massive cranes and dry dock to house USS Cassin Young and service USS Constitution. Throughout the Yard, a preservation standard will be applied to both NPS retained facilities, as well as several leased properties that will support the NPS in achieving its preservation and activation goals.
The proposal does not say what would be done with the two buildings that now house the USS Constitution Museum and the visitor center. The NPS proposal says visitors would see little to no impact on their trips due to the construction of the new building and pier structure, however.
The National Park Service is soliciting comments on the proposal through July 22.