National Mall: Navy and Munitions Buildings Repairs (demolished) – Washington DC


In 1933, the Washington Post reported the allocation of just over $30,000 to the Public Works Administration (PWA) for repairs to the Navy and Munitions Buildings, which were temporary troop quarters constructed during World War I on the western portion of the National Mall. $27,000 was apportioned for a new roof, $672 for other repairs, and $2,340 for resurfacing a road serving the facility.

According to Paul Williams (2004): “Washington had been suffering from a shortage of both office space and housing since World War I, when the giant Main Navy and Munitions Building had been built as one  of the city’s first temporary structures, at Seventeenth and Constitution Avenue, N.W…These buildings were cheap and easy to build and literally sprang up overnight in some cases. (p. 95).

Ironically, during the 1930s the PWA provided a million dollars to clear the the National Mall of such temporary structures and renovate it.  Most such buildings were eliminated, but a portion of the Navy and Munitions buildings remained until 1970, when they were finally demolished.  On the site now sit Constitution Gardens and the Vietnam War Memorial.

Source notes

Williams, Paul K., Washington D.C.: The World War II Years, Mount Pleasant, SC: Arcadia Publishing (2004)

“District gets $325,000 fund for building,” Washington Post, September 8, 1933, p. 22


Project originally submitted by Brent McKee - on March 18, 2015.
Additional contributions by Richard A Walker.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

Constitution Gardens
Washington, DC 20024

Location notes: Location approximate; site no longer extant

Coordinates: 38.891145, -77.044213

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