Dating back to 1800, Charlestown Navy Yard was among the most prolific, historic, and vital navy yards in U.S. history. It served as the home of many of the nation's elite warships for the purposes of resupply, maintenance, retrofitting, and service.
The navy yard's most critical role was during America's two largest wars before it closed for good in 1974. From the beginning, Charlestown Navy Yard remained a pioneer of shipbuilding technology and served as a center for electronics and missile conversions. During its almost 175-year history, its staff constructed, christened, and launched over 200 ships and serviced thousands more.
After its closing, thirty acres of the yard were earmarked as part of Boston National Historical Park. Today, the U.S. National Park Service oversees this most critical portion of the shipyard. In addition, as part of their overall program, the USS Constitution and USS Cassin Young combine to represent Boston's rich, almost 200-year history of ship building.
As a bonus, the Boston Marine Society can also be found at Charlestown Navy Yard. Marine history buffs will appreciate this as the world's oldest association of sea captains, in operation since 1742. Admission is free and visitors are invited to stop by Building 32 – home to a noteworthy collection of historical art, artifacts and a small library of books.
Admission is free, with guided tours every 30 minutes. Hours are: April 1-September 30: Tues-Sat 10 a.m.-5:50 p.m.; October 1-October 31: Tues-Sat 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; November 1-March 31: Thurs-Sat 10 a.m.-4 p.m.