In 1927 the Dravo Corporation, a ship building company from Pittsburgh, purchased the shipyard where Dravo Plaza now sits. Dravo used the site for assembling and launching harbor and river craft. After Pearl Harbor the Navy expanded capacity at the Dravo Shipyard, building new facilities at the site to meet the country’s need for war ships. Dravo is best remembered for its World War II production records, specifically, production techniques that allowed the application of assembly-line principles to the building of large ships; its massive work force which grew from 400 workers in 1940 to 11,000 in 1943; the 200 ships it built between 1940 and 1945 – including 48 in 1944 alone; and site launchings of 330 foot tank land ships.
Today Dravo Plaza serves not only as a historical marker of Riverfront Wilmington’s many contributions to World War II and the economic vitality of the Christina River but as a place for friends and family to gather. Dravo Plaza is the backdrop for the Shipyard Summer Concert Series and many 5k walks and races.
Dravo Plaza is located at the northern end of the Shipyard Shops. You will know you are there when you spot the brightly painted cranes that frame this beautiful plaza, another reminder of the Christina River and the City of Wilmington ‘s exciting past.
For more informartion visit the Dravo Plaza page.