U.S. Naval Air Station, Assembly & Repair Shop, East Avenue, Pensacola, Escambia County, FL
Significance: Constructed in 1937 as the Assembly & Repair Shop, Building No. 604 played a major support role for defense preparedness prior to and during World War II, as well as for the ongoing aircraft maintenance and repair that supported training missions at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola. While the architect is not known, the contractors were the Virginia Engineering Company of Newport News, Virginia, and Foster and Creighton of Mobile, Alabama. NAS Pensacola experienced a major building campaign during the mid- to late 1930s in support of the expansion of the installation's aviation training program. Building No. 604 housed 800 civilian engineers, machinists, and foundry workers who could, theoretically, repair or replace any part of an aircraft with the tools, equipment, and facilities provided. Within the building, nearly any industrial process required to repair or manufacture aircraft parts was supported. The massive, three-story, steel-frame structure encompasses more than three acres and features hangar bays with a batten seam copper canopy and large, riveted steel doors that dominate three facades and open into the service bay area. The remainder of the Moderne-style utilitarian building is clad in brick, stone, cement, and metal. Interior modifications to Building No. 04 began shortly after the main contractors finished the building, with the periodic addition of office and storage space, as well as improved ventilation to several of the shops. Two small exterior additions, built in 1944, housed the Cleaning Shop and Drop Hammer Shop. An exterior women's lavatory was built during this time, as well. In 1969, the Cleaning Shop and adjacent Building No. 29 were demolished prior to the construction of the contiguous Consolidated Plating Facility at the same location. After 1998, NAS Pensacola used the facility for museum storage. With only minor modifications to its exterior, such as the addition of the plating facility, Building No. 604 remains compatible in form, massing, scale, and materials to its original design. Building No. 604 is located in the southeastern section of NAS Pensacola, within the boundaries of the Pensacola Naval Air Station Historic District, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). The National Park Service designated this district as a National Historic Landmark (NHL) in 1976. Neither nomination clearly defines the district's period of significance; however, the text only references buildings erected prior to 1919. Because of its 1937 construction date, Building No. 604 was not mentioned in either nomination.
Survey number: HABS FL-494
Building/structure dates: 1937 Initial Construction
National Register of Historic Places NRIS Number: 76000595