Archaeological Investigation of Residential Areas at the Washington Navy Yard Washington, D.C.

Summary

On behalf of the Department of the Navy, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, The Louis Berger Group, Inc., carried out Phase I/II archaeological investigations at four areas at the Washington Navy Yard (WNY) in the District of Columbia. Investigation of these areas was conducted to partially fulfill the requirements of Sections 106 and 110 of the National Historic Preservation Act, as amended, and the National Environmental Policy Act, as amended. The four areas had been determined archeologically sensitive in an earlier study, and the Phase I/II investigations sought to determine if, in fact, archaeological sites are present in the four areas and to evaluate the significance of any identified archaeological deposits.

Archaeological construction monitoring took place at Quarters B, located on the west side of Parsons Avenue SE. Quarters B is one of the oldest structures at the WNY. Monitoring was associated with underground utility line upgrades taking place in the rear yard (east yard) of the Quarters. No features or artifacts were found during the construction monitoring.

Controlled excavations were conducted in the front (south) yards of Quarters C and D, located on Warrington Avenue. A trench was hand-excavated in the yard of Quarters C, and three shovel tests were excavated at Quarters D. These investigations aimed to identify the remains of a nineteenth-century cistern, which was not found. Based on historical map data, the cistern is now thought to have stood east of Quarters C, south of Building 2. Numerous artifacts were recovered from fill, and the front yards of the Quarters were recorded as Site 51SE66, Locus C-1. The deposits have minimal research potential, and the site is recommended as not eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

Excavations were carried out in the front (south) yard of Quarters H and the rear (north) yard of Quarters R; the buildings are adjacent to one another on Warrington Avenue. The yards were tested to search for remains of a nineteenth-century icehouse. A section of the icehouse wall was identified in the yard of Quarters H and has been designated Site 51SE066, Locus H-1. The site is a significant resource and is recommended as eligible for listing in the National Register.

Excavations were carried out in the rear yard of Quarters N and O, located on Patterson Avenue near Warrington Avenue. The buildings were the location of a Navy paint shop between 1866 and an unknown date in the 1890s, and it was thought that the rear yards may contain industrial or residential deposits, or perhaps the remains of an outbuilding. A series of artifact-rich fill deposits was identified, recorded as Site 51SE066, Locus O-1. Because the research potential of the fill deposits is not high, the site is recommended as not eligible for listing in the National Register.

Overall, the Phase I/II investigation of residential areas of the WNY documented widespread landform modification and minimal preservation of the pre-WNY natural landscape. There was evidence of repeated fill deposition and land redevelopment during the Navy’s tenure. Fill deposits at Site 51SE066, Locus O-1 include redeposited domestic artifacts and industrial waste, possibly originating elsewhere at the installation. Repeated development and landform modification did not completely destroy deep structural remains, however, for the remains of the nineteenth-century ice house were found beneath fill at Site 51SE066, Locus H-1. Intact soil profiles may have been encountered in the east yard of Quarters B and the north yard of Quarters R.

Cite this Record

Archaeological Investigation of Residential Areas at the Washington Navy Yard Washington, D.C.. Gregory Katz, Charles LeeDecker. 2012 ( tDAR id: 393120) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8CZ386X

Spatial Coverage

min long: -77.018; min lat: 38.847 ; max long: -76.966; max lat: 38.902 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory Federal Curator

Sponsor(s): Navy

Repository(s): Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory

Prepared By(s): Louis Berger

Submitted To(s): Department of the Navy

Record Identifiers

Delivery Order(s): 59

MAC Lab Accession Number(s): 2013.005

Contract No.(s): N40080-07-D-0311

Notes

General Note: The following physical records are held at MAC Lab: Field Notes, Lab Notes, Maps, Artifact Catalog, Report, Photologs, List of Documentation, acid-free copy of all paper records stored in the secondary records storage room

General Note: Date Collected:JUNE-NOVEMBER 2012

Redaction Note: One of these files has been redacted. To request access to a nonredacted copy, contact the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory.

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
CXE4845_WNY-Phase-I-II_Draft_ED-Dec2012.pdf 29.02mb Jun 23, 2014 2:13:06 PM Confidential
This file has been marked as confidential to protect site location information.
CXE4845_WNY-Phase-I-II_Draft_ED-Dec2012-2--REDACTED.pdf 5.93mb Oct 1, 2014 10:50:07 AM Confidential
To request access to a nonredacted copy, contact the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory.

Accessing Restricted Files

At least one of the files for this resource is restricted from public view. For more information regarding access to these files, please reference the contact information below

Contact(s): Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory Federal Curator