- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A building at Naval Support Facility Indian Head that was built in 1919 and housed civilian employees of the Naval Powder Factory is set to become a historical memory.
Building D70 is part of the naval base’s Residential Historic District, which contains structures built between 1890 and 1945.
“The purpose and need for the project is to meet requirements for Military Construction Project 166 and the 25 percent building footprint reduction policy set forth by the Department of the Navy for the required removal of facilities in poor structural condition,” said Gary Wagner, public affairs officer for Naval Support Activity South Potomac, the administration office for the base.
Demolition is planned for later this year or early next year. A final cost for the demolition has not been determined.
“The building is currently vacated, gutted, and does not provide a current mission support function,” Wagner said.
Wagner said that the formal process to demolish a historic building required that the U.S. Navy consult with the Maryland Historic Trust and other groups “to make sure we don’t lose history.” A recent press release about the building’s demolition, Wagner said, is the final step in notifying the public.
“Building 70 has served this mission well for many years, but it has exceeded its life and is no longer needed by the command,” said Becky D’Ambrosio, of the corporate communications division for Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division.
The Navy provided the MHT with a written history, written description, existing architectural drawings and historical photographs of the building, Wagner said. Significant environmental features were not found at the site by the Navy. After demolition of the building, the site “will be restored to natural conditions.”
Wagner said that the initiative is a cost-saving measure the Navy is looking at. The building is considered not to contain any unique architectural features.
“If you have a building, you have to maintain it,” Wagner said. But if a building can be eliminated and save costs on maintenance, as is the case with D70, then the option is considered, he said.
The building has been vacant since 2007, but the last date of occupancy was unverifiable at press time.
“Probably not in this case, because [D70 is] so old, and it hasn’t been used in so long,” Wagner said.