Gate 1

Entry gate to the Yard with a pedestrian walkway to the right and a glass windowed building on left.
The Navy Yard constructed this Gate 1 building in the 1950s.

NPS Photo/Woods

Quick Facts
Western end of 1st Ave, near Constitution Road
Oldest entry point to the Navy Yard

As one of the original entry points to the Charlestown Navy Yard, Gate 1 has played a vital role to the operation of the yard. It acted as the main entrance to this major naval facility, and here US Marines monitored the entry of vehicles, workers, and visitors to the yard.

In the early 1800s, Gate 1 consisted of a guardhouse with a picket fence. In 1847, granite posts and iron gates replaced the picket fence. The US Navy ordered an impressive Beaux-Arts style Gate 1 in 1901 (see in photo gallery). However, in the 20th century this gate was too narrow for the increased vehicular traffic, requiring Gate 2 to be constructed nearby to handle the congestion. While some civilian employees entered through this gate, the Charlestown Navy Yard had other gates dedicated to serving these employees arriving by foot.

Before it was removed in the 1950s, the formidable Gate 1 served another valuable purpose: it provided living quarters for the Marine guards of Gate 1 for over fifty years.

The US Navy built the current guardhouse for Gate 1 in 1959 and the gate could easily handle two-way traffic. As the caretaker of the Charlestown Navy Yard after 1974, the National Park Service limited Gate 1 to pedestrians. The former Scale House became the vehicular entrance to the Navy Yard, guarded by the National Park Service Protection Division.

The National Park Service renovated the entire Gate 1 area in 2019.

Learn more...

Charlestown Navy Yard: Gate 1


  • Black, Frederick R. and Edwin C. Bears. The Charlestown Navy Yard 1842-1890. Boston, MA: Boston National Historical Park, National Park Service, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, 1993.
  • Carlson, Stephen P. Charlestown Navy Yard Historic Resource Study, Vol 1-3. Boston, MA: Division of Cultural Resources Boston National Historical Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior, 2010.
  • National Park Service, Boston National Historical Park. "National Register of Historic Places Inventory, Charlestown Navy Yard Nomination Form (1978)." In Boston National Historical Park, Charleston Navy Yard Boundary Enlargement Report. Denver: Denver Service Center, National Park Service, 1979.

Boston National Historical Park

Last updated: January 19, 2023