The Center for Naval History
The Dudley Knox Center for Naval History is housed in the complex of buildings adjacent to the Leutze Park and extending down Dahlgren Avenue. Building 57, which was erected in 1866 as a warehouse, was enlarged in 1899, and from the 1920's to World War II housed offices of the Naval Ordnance School. Also housing ordnance activity in this complex were Building 44, constructed in 1890, and Building 108, constructed in 1902. The later was expanded during World War I by the addition of a third floor.
The center is managed by the Director of Naval History and contains the Naval Department Library, the Early History, Contemporary History, Curator, Ships' History, and Operational Archives branches. The library holds one of the largest collections of books on naval subjects in the country, while the Operational Archives maintains the Navy's most important operational records dating from the beginning of World War II until the present. Also located within the center are the facilities of the Naval Historical Foundation, a private non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the heritage of the United States Navy.
The Navy Museum
The Navy Museum which opened in 1963 is housed in Building 76, the former 600-foot-long Breech Mechanism shop of the Old Navy Gun Factory. The north end of the building was erected in the late nineteenth century and the southern portion was added in 1899. A 400-foot addition on the northern end, used for fitting liners and reinforcing hoops to gun barrels, was removed in the 1970s. The Museum contains exhibits which commemorate the Navy's wartime heroes and battles and peacetime contributions in the fields of science, diplomacy, and humanitarian service.