USS Detroit at Boston Navy Yard

The cruiser USS Detroit in Dry Dock 2 at Boston Navy Yard, on December 16, 1928. Image courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.

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The scene in 2015:

Taken about 23 years after the photo in the previous post, this view of Dry Dock 2 shows the USS Detroit (CL-8), an Omaha-class light cruiser, undergoing work at the Boston Navy Yard. The Detroit had been built in nearby Quincy, Massachusetts, and was commissioned in 1923. Several years after the first photo was taken, she was transferred to the Pacific, and was based out of San Diego before being moved to Pearl Harbor in 1941. She was present during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, and survived the battle without any damage, and went on to see extensive service in World War II, including being present in Tokyo Bay for the surrender in 1945. Following the war, though, the Detroit was sold for scrap in 1946, along with many other obsolete surplus ships.

The Boston Navy Yard, as mentioned in the previous post, closed in 1974, and part of it was taken over by the National Park Service. Today, many of the historic buildings and other structures have been preserved, including Dry Dock 2 and some of the buildings in the distance. One of the most distinctive buildings in the yard is the octagonal Muster House, which can be seen just to the left of the ship. It was built in the 1850s, and it is still standing today, partially hidden by trees in the distance. The long building in the center of the photo has also been preserved and repurposed; it is now the MGH Institute of Health Professions.

USS Maryland at Boston Navy Yard

The cruiser USS Maryland in Dry Dock 2 at the Boston Navy Yard, around 1905. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The scene in 2015:

The first photo shows Dry Dock 2 at the Boston Navy Yard, which was completed in 1905, not long before the first photo was taken. It was part of a large expansion of the facility, and it supplemented the much older and smaller Dry Dock 1. At 750 feet long, it could accommodate the Navy’s newest ships, including the Maryland, a Pennsylvania-class armored cruiser that, like the dry dock, was completed in 1905.

In the years after the photo was taken, the Maryland was eventually renamed the Frederick to free up the name for a new battleship, and the ship served in World War I. Like many other early 20th century American warships, though, the ship’s service history was brief. She was decommissioned in 1922, and sold for scrap in 1930.

As for the Boston Navy Yard, it remained in use throughout World War I, World War II, and beyond. It was finally closed in 1974, and part of it was taken over by the National Park Service as part of the Boston National Historical Park. Dry Dock 2 is just outside the park limits, but it is still intact, including the pump house, the small round building directly in the center of the 2015 photo. Just to the left of the pump house is Flagship Wharf, one of several modern condominium complexes that have been built on parts of the former navy yard.

For another scene of Dry Dock 2 in use, see the historic photo in this post, taken in 1929.