Graduate Research and Discovery Symposium (GRADS)


Elizabeth Ryan

Document Type




Publication Date

Spring 2013


Charleston's Naval Yard resembles a ghost town today, but it was once the city’s most active industrial district. It employed thousands of South Carolina workers who built warships and Navy infrastructure throughout the 1900s. When the Admiral presided over this bustling base, he lived at Quarters A. This social epicenter hosted military ceremonies, weddings, and PR visits from celebrities. Charles Lindbergh, Helen Keller, and FDR are some of the notables who walked these halls—halls that are now silent. Since the 1996 decommissioning of the base, Quarters A faces deterioration. Although exterior condition is poor, the interior is well-preserved. The purpose of this project is to raise awareness for the site by creating an interior furnishings and interpretation plan for this house. We combined many sources—Navy furniture allotments, historic photographs, paint sample microscopy, archival research, and oral interviews—to create an accurate picture of what the house once was and what it can be. We propose restoring the building into a public event and reception space that highlights the WWII-era apex of the Navy Yard. It is our goal to provide inspiration for reestablishing Quarters A as a profitable and enriching showpiece in the community.