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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Navy Yard in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Optical Tower - Second Officers House

 
 
Optical Tower / Second Officers Quarters Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 21, 2008
1. Optical Tower / Second Officers Quarters Marker
Inscription. Optical Tower
Rising behind the First Officer's Quarters is the Optical Tower built in 1918-19 to calibrate optical equipment, particularly range finding instruments, made in the Yard. From the tower, sightings were taken on the United States Capitol, the Washington Monument, and the Masonic Temple in Alexandria, ten miles away.

Second Officers House
On October 10, 1801 the Navy Department contracted the firm of Lovering and Dyer to build a house for the second officer and the officer of the Marines. The two-and-a-half-story brick house was constructed around a farmhouse already on the property when it was bought in 1799, making it the oldest building in the Yard. The back of the wooden farmhouse can still be seen as it interrupts the brick wall that was once the eastern boundary of the Yard. It is not known who lived in the house before 1814, but for most of its history it has served as quarters for the second officer. The house has been added on to over the years and the last of these additions was completed prior to 1868. It now serves as the home of the Commandant of the Naval District of Washington.
 
Location. 38° 52.52′ N, 76° 59.691′ W. Marker is in Navy Yard, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on Dahlgren Avenue,
Optical Tower and Second Officer's Quarters image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 21, 2008
2. Optical Tower and Second Officer's Quarters
The optical tower stands behind and above the Second Officer's Quarters.
SE, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is located inside the Washington Navy Yard, at the west side of Leutze Park. Marker is in this post office area: Washington Navy Yard DC 20374, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Leutze Park Gun Collection (within shouting distance of this marker); The Center for Naval History - The Navy Museum (within shouting distance of this marker); The Washington Navy Yard (within shouting distance of this marker); Latrobe Gate - Tingey House (within shouting distance of this marker); Dudley Knox Center for Naval History (within shouting distance of this marker); Second Officer's House (within shouting distance of this marker); Leutze Park - Marine Corps Historical Center (within shouting distance of this marker); Naval Historical Foundation (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Navy Yard.
 
More about this marker. On the lower left is an artist's rendering of the Optical Tower. On the lower right is a photo of Quarters B about 1900.
 
Categories. Military
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 4, 2017. This page originally submitted on August 11, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,420 times since then and 55 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 11, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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