Watertown Arsenal, Building No. 97, Wooley Avenue, Watertown, Middlesex County, MA
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Wooley Avenue, Watertown, MA
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Documentation compiled after 1968.
Survey number HAER MA-20-S
Significance: The significance of Building No. 97 lies in the fact that its changing use from an industrial facility to a modern laboratory provides a physical illustration of the changing mission of Watertown Arsenal throughout the twentieth century. During World War I, the Arsenal's manufacturing capacity tripled, and the Locomotive Storage and Repair Building - built shortly after the war in 1920 - served as an industrial support structure within a large manufacturing complex. Although materials research (particularly metals) was always being conducted at the Arsenal, the physical appearance of the Arsenal at that time was primarily determined by the manufacturing processes conducted there. In the years following World War II, large scale manufacturing was gradually eliminated and the Arsenal's primary mission became materials research. While some industrial buildings were razed, Building No. 97 was converted in 1959 to a materials testing laboratory and capitol equipment facility associated with the Lester Nuclear Reactor (Building No. 100, HAER No. MA-20-R).
War (World War I)
Railroad Shops & Yards
Boston & Fitchburg Railroad
Boston & Maine Railroad
Historic American Engineering Record (Library of Congress)
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