United States Naval Academy Walking Tour

Click here to download a printable version of the U.S. Naval Academy Tour

Read our Annapolis Architecture Guide article, THE NAVAL ACADEMY AND ANNAPOLIS:
Baroque and Beaux Arts Architectural Neighbors
, to learn more about the architecture of the Naval Academy.

1. Gate 1, Randall Street & Prince George Street

The U.S. Naval Academy campus is officially called "The Yard", a term dating back to the Revolutionary War and originating from the word "dockyard". Learn more about the Yard's conception and design by clicking the Naval Academy link at left in the navigation menu.

 **All visitors to the Naval Academy must enter through the Visitor Access Center at Gate 1. Everyone 16 and older must have a government-issued photo ID, and only vehicles with USNA IDs or handicapped tags may enter the Naval Academy grounds.

2. Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center
The Visitor Center is located in Halsey Field House. There is an information center, tour guide service, exhibits, gift shop and snack bar. Visit the USNA website for more information.

**Walk down Brownson Road to the Levy Center (on your left).

3. Commodore Uriah P. Levy Center and Jewish Chapel
The Levy Center contains a synagogue, fellowship hall, classrooms and offices. It was designed by Joseph Boggs and completed in 2005. The chapel includes a 45-foot-high wall that is a replica of the Western Wall in Jerusalem and is made of Jerusalem stone.

 **Walk back down Brownson Road, turn right on King George Street, turn right on Cooper Road, and then turn left on Porter Road.

4. Officer's Houses
These houses are part of the original 1902 campus plan designed by Ernest Flagg.

 **Turn right on Buchanan Road.

5. Dahlgren Hall
Dahlgren Hall, designed by Flagg and completed in 1903, was originally the armory. It once housed an ice rink, and now contains offices and a large Assembly Room. The Drydock Restaurant is housed in the Northeastern end of the building and is open to the public.

Dahlgren Hall

6. Bancroft Hall
Bancroft Hall is home to the entire brigade of 4,000 midshipmen and is one of the largest single dormitories in the world. The original building has been expanded to completely fill the space between Dahlgren Hall, Macdonough Hall (the original gymnasium) and Farragut Field (the original Parade Ground). Designed by Beaux Arts trained campus architect Ernest Flagg, it features an heroic entrance stair facing across the quadrangle to Mahan Hall. Note the wonderful ornamentation including the battle ships plowing out of the roof parapets. Visitors to Bancroft Hall can see the Rotunda, Memorial Hall, and a mock-up of a typical midshipman's room.


Bancroft Hall

7. Tecumseh Court
Tecumseh Court is the site of noon meal formations for the brigade of midshipmen and is named for its statue of Indian warrior Tecumseh, an 1817 figurehead from the USS Delaware.

Tecumseh Court

8. Buchanan House
Buchanan House is the official residence of the Naval Academy Superintendent. It was designed by Flagg, was the third structure to be built, and was named in 1976 for the Naval Academy's first superintendent.

Buchanan House

9. Chapel & Crypt
The chapel, also designed by Flagg, is given primary status in his campus plan. It is the tallest building and placed on the highest ground. It was originally axially opposite a ceremonial boat basin which unfortunately was filled in and replaced with 1960's classroom buildings. The chapel is a masterpiece of American Beaux Arts architecture. The dome is based on the design of the 1708 Royal Chapel at Les Invalides in Paris and the interior boasts windows designed by Tiffany Studios. The towering bronze doors depict "father science" and "mother patriotism" and were designed by Evelyn Beatrice Longman, a young woman who won the design competition. 


The crypt of John Paul Jones, the father of the American Navy and a Revolutionary War hero, was built in 1913. The design was inspired by the 1840 bombastic imperial burial site of Napoleon contained within the Royal Chapel in Paris. Jones' tomb is much more modest, but still impressive.

10. Preble Hall, USNA Museum
Preble Hall houses the U.S. Naval Academy Museum, a collection of more than 35,000 items such as paintings, prints and artifacts from naval history. Don't miss the 1951 Gallery of Ships containing models dating back to the 17th century. Behind Preble Hall is the Tripoli Monument (A), the oldest military monument in the U.S. It honors the heroes of the First Barbary War (1801-1805) and was carved from Carrara marble in Italy in 1806.

11. Mahan Hall
Mahan Hall was designed by Flagg as the main classroom building. It includes many features of Beaux Arts architectural principles. The symmetrical entrance is raised a floor above grade with a bold double staircase. The entrance axis is further emphasized by the clock tower, cupola, and segmented round pediment. Sculptures of allegorical figures, repetitive arches and a variety of pediments, brackets and balustrades complete the complex yet tightly controlled composition. Note the wonderful architectural hardware and lighting designed with nautical motifs.

Mahan Hall

12. Quadrangle
The quadrangle is an important organizing feature of the original 1902 campus plan. Today, it contains many significant monuments to naval history. 

The Herndon Monument (B), a tall grey obelisk erected in 1860, sits in front of the Chapel to the North. It commemorates Captain William Lewis Herndon who went down with his ship (saluting in full dress uniform), SS Central America, rather than save himself on September 12, 1857. The Herndon Monument is the site of the famous "plebes-no-more" ceremony, where the plebes (first year students at the academy) all work together to climb the greased monument and replace a plebe's hat with an upperclassmen's hat at the top.

The Zimmerman Bandstand Gazebo (C), built in 1922 to replace an earlier gazebo, sits in front of the Chapel to the East. It is named in honor of Charles A. Zimmerman, composer of the Naval Academy's fight song, "Anchors Aweigh".

The Mexican War Midshipmen's Monument (D), honoring midshipmen lost during that war, is located at the center of the quadrangle. 

The Macedonian Monument (E) in front of Mahan Hall commemorates the capture of the British frigate Macedonian by Captain Stephen Decatur on October 25, 1812.