Quarters A, Brooklyn Navy Yard

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Quarters A, Brooklyn Navy Yard
North side in springtime
Quarters A, Brooklyn Navy Yard is located in New York City
Quarters A, Brooklyn Navy Yard
Quarters A, Brooklyn Navy Yard is located in New York
Quarters A, Brooklyn Navy Yard
Quarters A, Brooklyn Navy Yard is located in the United States
Quarters A, Brooklyn Navy Yard
LocationBrooklyn, New York
Coordinates40°42′8.57″N 73°58′49.19″W / 40.7023806°N 73.9803306°W / 40.7023806; -73.9803306Coordinates: 40°42′8.57″N 73°58′49.19″W / 40.7023806°N 73.9803306°W / 40.7023806; -73.9803306
Area3 acres (1.2 ha)
Built1805 (1805)
ArchitectCharles Bulfinch; John McComb, Jr.
Architectural styleFederal
NRHP reference #74001252
Significant dates
Added to NRHPMay 30, 1974[1]
Designated NHLMay 30, 1974[2]

Quarters A, also known as the Commandant's House, is a historic house on Evans Street in the Vinegar Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York City. Built beginning in 1805, with a number of later alterations, it remains a prominent example of Federal architecture in New York City, it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1974[2] for its association with Matthew C. Perry, commandant of the adjacent Brooklyn Navy Yard 1841-1843, whose opening of Japan to the west in 1854 revolutionized trade and international affairs.[3] The building is now privately owned.

Description and history[edit]

The former Commandant's House is set on a bluff overlooking the western side of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a few blocks south of the East River, it is accessed via a gated drive at the junction of Little and Evans Streets. The house is three and a half stories in height, of wood frame construction, and finished in wooden clapboards; the building has an extensive history of alteration, but the interior its original main block retains Federal period architectural details, including leaded front entry sidelight windows, carved wooden paneling, and wooden floorboards (although the latter have been covered by other flooring). The original block was built in 1805-06, supposedly to a design by Charles Bulfinch and John McComb, Jr. Additions have substantially increased the size of the house in 1860, 1904, and 1936.[3]

It was built as the quarters for the commandant of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Most notably, it was home to Commodore Matthew C. Perry (1794-1858) between 1841 and 1843. Perry was assigned to the yard from 1833 to 1843 in a variety of roles, during which time he is credited with improving the Navy's steamship navigation, education of enlisted men and commissioned officers, and improving the nation's lighthouse service. Perry's signature achievement was is 1854 expedition to Japan, in which he compelled the previously cloistered nation to open its borders more widely, inaugurating a series of economic and geopolitical changes.[3]

The house was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1974, at which time it was still part of the active navy yard;[2][3] the current owners of the Commandant's House are Charles Gilbert and Jennifer Jones, who purchased it in 1997.[4]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ a b c "Quarters A, Brooklyn Navy Yard". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. 2007-09-11.
  3. ^ a b c d Benjamin Levy and Blanche Higgins (November 13, 1973). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Quarters A" (pdf). National Park Service. and Accompanying photos, from 1963 and 1973 (2.20 MB)
  4. ^ "The Commandant's House is the sweetest landmark in Vinegar Hill | Brooklyn Daily Eagle". www.brooklyneagle.com. Retrieved 2017-05-07.

External links[edit]