Drydock Number One, Norfolk Naval Shipyard

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Drydock Number One, Norfolk Naval Shipyard
Drydock Number One, Norfolk Naval Shipyard is located in Virginia
Drydock Number One, Norfolk Naval Shipyard
Location Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Virginia
Coordinates 36°49′14″N 76°17′35″W / 36.82056°N 76.29306°W / 36.82056; -76.29306Coordinates: 36°49′14″N 76°17′35″W / 36.82056°N 76.29306°W / 36.82056; -76.29306
Built 1827
Architect Unknown
NRHP Reference # 70000862
VLR # 124-0029
Significant dates
Added to NRHP February 26, 1970[2]
Designated NHL November 11, 1971[3]
Designated VLR December 2, 1969[1]

Drydock Number One, Norfolk Naval Shipyard, also known as Drydock No. 1, is the site where the USS Merrimack was modified to be the Confederate Navy ironclad CSS Virginia. It is now included within the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. It remains in use.

The drydock measures 319.5 feet (97.4 m) in length, and is built of Massachusetts granite, stepped to allow access to and bracing of ships under repair. Original cost was $974,365.65, a very high price for 1827, when work was started. The project was completed in 1834. However, the drydock was first used in June 1833, when the USS Delaware was drydocked for recommissioning, the first time a large vessel was drydocked in the United States. During the American Civil War the USS Merrimac was rebuilt in the drydock to become the CSS Virginia ironclad.[4]

The drydock can accommodate a maximum vessel length of 291.6 feet (88.9 m) with a 39.33-foot (11.99 m) beam. Depth is 30 feet (9.1 m). Primarily used for service craft, the dock can be dewatered in 40 minutes and flooded in 90 minutes[5]

It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1971.[3][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. 
  3. ^ a b "Drydock Number One, Norfolk Naval Shipyard". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-04-08. 
  4. ^ a b Staff, Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission, James W. Moody, Jr., Director (November 18, 1969). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Drydock Number One, Norfolk Naval Shipyard" (pdf). National Park Service.  and Accompanying four photos of this and Drydock Number Four, from 1984 and undated PDF (32 KB)
  5. ^ "Unified Facilities Criteria: Drydocking Facilities Characteristics". U.S. Navy. 19 June 2003. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 

The length specified for Drydock #1 is wrong. It can easily take a vessel well over 300'. I was in that dock in 1967 aboard the USS Requin, SS-481, a Tench Class diesel electric submarine whose OA length is 312'.