Advance Base Depot Davisville, Building T-17, Ninth Street southeast of Davisville Road, Davisville, Washington County, RI
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Significance: Based on research conducted at Davisville, and the documentation contained in the United States Navy's own historical accounts of its construction activities during World War II, it is apparent that the design and production of the quonset hut and other temporary structures like it during the 1940s represents the response by the United States' military branches at the time to the threat, and subsequently the reality, of global war. At the beginning of its development, the quonset hut was targeted for use at United States naval installations located on British-held lands; quickly it also became an important form of assistance to the United States' allies both before and after this country's official entry into the Second World War. Building T-17 is typical of the designs employed by the military to produce efficient, utilitarian structures suited to the mobilization emergency in effect at the time. Building T-17 is a representation of the many requirements placed upon the designers of the quonset hut in that in not only provided shelter (in this case originally for humans, and later for equipment), but it also did not require highly trained personnel for its assembly and was relatively inexpensive to construct. In addition, this structure is composed of standardized parts, which assisted in the ease of its construction, and helped to provide a smooth transition when the Navy turned over the manufacturing of the quonset hut to private companies. These businesses continued to produce this type of structure for use by the military forces for the duration of the war, and variations were designed for use in tropic and arctic conditions. The quonset hut is readily recognized by its half-cylindrical shape, and they were manufactured in a number of different sizes over the years of their production.
Survey number: HABS RI-397-B