Watervliet Arsenal

The Watervliet Arsenal (pronounced /ˈwɔːtərvliːt/ "water-vleet") is an arsenal of the United States Army located in Watervliet, New York, on the west bank of the Hudson River. It is the oldest continuously active arsenal in the United States, and today produces much of the artillery for the army, as well as gun tubes for cannons, mortars, and tanks. It has been a National Historic Landmark since 1966.

The arsenal was founded in 1813 to support the War of 1812, and was designated as the Watervliet Arsenal in 1817. It occupies 142 acres (57 ha) of land, approximately 8 miles (13 km) north of Albany, New York. The location is adjacent to the Hudson River. The site contains manufacturing, administrative offices, storage areas, and a museum tracing weaponry from the 17th century through modern times. It also contains the Army's Benet Laboratories, which does product development, improvement, research, and testing.

Tenant activities

The Arsenal has the historic Iron Building, which currently serves as the Watervliet Arsenal Museum.

The Arsenal also contains Recruiting Station Albany, the headquarters of a United States Marine Corps recruiting station.

On 17 February 2009, the headquarters of the United States Army Albany Recruiting Battalion relocated to Watervliet Arsenal from its old location on Wolf Road.


The arsenal was chosen to be built at the edge of the village of Gibonsville, directly opposite Troy, New York. It was chosen to be built there due to its key location on the Hudson River, only 60 miles (97 km) from Lake Champlain, 140 miles (230 km) from New York City, and a short distance via the Mohawk River to Lake Ontario. During the early stages of the War of 1812, attacks could be expected from many key ports and other locations. At the time, the Colonel of Ordinance was Decius Wadsworth; he originally designated the arsenal to produce fixed ammunition and small articles of equipment including gun carriages, drag ropes, ladles, wormers, sponges, and shot. The original plot of land acquired by the Department of Ordnance was 12 acres (49,000 m2). Construction began in the summer of 1813 on fourteen buildings: south and north gun houses, a brick arsenal, two stables, a guard house, commanding officer's quarters, a woodshed, two enlisted men's quarters, a hospital and one office. The cost for the land was US$2,585.

Building Activity

  • Radil Radenkov
    Radil Radenkov updated 3 digital references and updated
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