Schuylkill Arsenal (1800-1957) - A U.S. Army arsenal established in 1800 as the Schuylkill Arsenal in Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. Renamed in 1926 as the Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot. Original site declared surplus in 1957, sold in 1961 and razed in 1962-1963.
Schuylkill Arsenal was built in 1800 on 8.6 acres purchased by the U.S. Government in 1799 for $2,293. Its purpose was to furnish supplies for the U.S. Military forces. It evolved into a military textile manufacturer that, during the U.S. Civil War, employed some 10,000 outside seamstresses and tailors to provide uniforms, tents, bedding and other textile goods to the military.
The Arsenal famously provided supplies for the Lewis & Clark expedition as they began their journey across America. Lewis accumulate and packed 3,500 pounds of supplies into 35 boxes that left the arsenal by two Conestoga wagons on 10 Jun 1803 headed for St. Louis. Arms and ammunition had been furnished earlier by the United States Armory and Arsenal at Harpers Ferry.
The arsenal function as a supply depot and Quartermaster School through the World War I but in 1926 it was renamed Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot and the depot functions subsequently moved to a new location in south Philadelphia (2724 South 20th Street). The original site was still used as a Quartermaster school into 1941 but the lack of space caused the Quartermaster school to relocate to Fort Lee (4) during World War II and the old arsenal was used for storage. After World War II ended the arsenal was closed and declared surplus in 1957. It was sold to the Philadelphia Electric Company for $375,000 in December 1961 and the first of the 16 buildings was demolished in May 1962.
Only remnants of the original arsenal wall remain at 2620 Gray's Ferry Avenue, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.