These three tall houses, located behind a high brick wall on the edge of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, were erected between 1837 and 1842 to serve as residences of the shipyard’s commanding officers. Many of their details, mostly in a Greek Revival idiom, follow designs illustrated in the architectural pattern books of Asher Benjamin. The three houses survived the 1861 burning of the shipyard by evacuating Union forces and a burning the next year by departing Confederates. Well maintained, they still house the shipyard’s ranking officers, with Quarters A, the largest of the three, traditionally serving as the commandant’s house.
This Virginia historical site continues as the U. S. Navy’s principal east coast shipyard. These buildings are on both the Virginia and National Registers of Historic Places and Historic Landmarks. The homes may only be viewed from outside the brick wall and through the gates on Lincoln Street. Notice the spots along the wall with discoloration. These mark the locations where muskets were fired against approaching enemies during both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. (Courtesy of Virginia Department of Historic Resources)