Torpedo Factory Art Center / United States Naval Torpedo Station (Building Two)
City of Alexandria, Virginia
Dedicated April 30, 1983
Alexandria City Council, Charles E. Beatley, Jr,. Mayor; James P. Moran, Jr., Vice Mayor; Donald C. Casey, Lionel R. Hope, Margaret B. Inman, Carlyle C. Ring, Jr., Patricia S. Ticer, City Manager Douglas Haman, General Contractor Eugene Simpson & Brother, Incorporated; Architect Keyes, Condon and Florance Metcalf Associates; Engineering FDE Ltd.Structural Engineering Girard Engineering Ltd.
The Torpedo Factory Art Center Building was formerly a munitions plant during World Wars I and II. In September, 1974, the Art Center opened in the Torpedo Factory as a Bicentennial project. The idea was conceived by Marian Van Landingham, a local artist, who became the Centerís first director. The Alexandria City Council approved the rehabilitation of this building for the continuing use by artists and the community.
Marker on the right side of the North Union Street entrance:
The Naval Torpedo Station construction began on November 12, 1918, the day after the armistice which ended World War I. building One housed machine shops, the dispensary, and a cafeteria,
World War II brought additional buildings along the waterfront and thousands of workers. The torpedo plant produced the MK14, 3A Torpedo, the primary typ used by destroyers and submarines in the war. The MK14, with a 21 foot length, 21 inch diameter and a quarter ton of explosives, was longer, faster, and heavier, and it ranged further than previous models. From January 1, 1939, to June 1, 1946, nearly 10,000 were manufactured here. After World War II, Building Two became the repository for Federal records and for the Nazi war records used in the Nuremburg trials.
In 1969, the City of Alexandria purchased the Torpedo Station from the Federal Government for $1.5 million.
For 250 years the land on which the Torpedo Factory stands has been central to Alexandria's commercial activities. The 18th Century wharves and warehouses of John Carlyle and William Ramsey were later replaced in the 19th Century by Henry K. Field's Planing Mill and Smoot's Lumber Yard. In 1919, at the time of the redevelopment of the land for the use
the sun of prosperity has been rising upon
other places in the Old Dominion ... Now that
things are coming here way, we all realize that
we have much to be thankful for."† † † † † † † † †
Location. 38° 48.298′ N, 77° 2.411′ W. Marker is in Alexandria, Virginia. Marker is on North Union Street. Click for map. The markers are located on each side of the North Union Street entrance doors. Marker is at or near this postal address: 105 North Union Street, Alexandria VA 22314, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Engin Artemel (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); John Fitzgerald (about 300 feet away); Waterfront Walk (about 400 feet away); Historic Alexandria (about 500 feet away); Raise the White Flag (about 500 feet away); The Carlyle House and the 18th-Century Site (about 600 feet away); Bank of Alexandria (about 600 feet away); The Ramsay House (about 600 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Alexandria.
Categories. • Arts, Letters, Music • War, World I • War, World II •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 108 times since then. Photos: 1. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. 2. submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. 3, 4. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on October 31, 2016.