Puget Sound Navy Museum History
The Puget Sound Navy Museum is one of ten museums funded and administered by the U.S. Navy. With the Naval Undersea Museum (NUM) in Keyport, WA, it forms Navy Museum Northwest (NMNW). NMNW is a unit of the Naval History and Heritage Command with headquarters in Washington, D.C.
The Museum began operation in 1954 as the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard Museum, a nonprofit organization established by employees of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Over the next 50 years, the Museum moved several times as the result of construction projects. Its many homes included the local naval recreation facility, the Bremerton ferry terminal, and several buildings in downtown Bremerton.
Most recently, on August 25, 2007, the Museum opened in the newly renovated Building 50 at 251 First Street. It was renamed the Puget Sound Navy Museum and became an official U.S. Navy Museum in March of 2008, and earned accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums in 2013. Beginning with approximately 600 objects, the Museum’s collection now numbers more than 30,000. Building 50 provides the Museum with more than 8,000 of exhibition space and 4,000 square feet of collections storage. The History of Building 50 Building 50 was one of the first constructed at the Puget Sound Navy Yard. Built in 1896, it served as the first Administrative Headquarters for the shipyard.
Building 50 has been relocated throughout the Shipyard several times to make way for new construction. It has served many functions: shipyard commandant office space, apprentice school, dispensary, and administrative space. After moving outside the shipyard gates in 2004, the building underwent a renovation to prepare it for its new function as a museum while retaining much of its impressive architecture.