During the Civil War, it was the southernmost navy yard that did not fall to the Confederacy. In 1876, the yard was relocated from Philadelphia’s Southwark district. Technological developments associated with Philadelphia Navy Yard over the next 70 years included steam turbine propulsion and marine radio.
When destroyer production resumed in the 1930s, Philadelphia built four 1,500-tonners and the last Sims-class ship. During World War II, it also completed two late Gleaves-class ships while focusing on types that other yards could not build as efficiently or at all, e.g., fast battleships Washington, New Jersey and Wisconsin.
Following the war, the yard continued to serve as a vital part of the Navy shore establishment, refurbishing and modernizing vessels as well as maintaining a large reserve fleet until it closed in 1996.