Danko Arlington Inc., a Maryland Corporation, is honored to have been selected by the US Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) to cast two historic anchor replicas flanking the main entrance of the Washington Navy Yard located in Southwest Washington DC. The gate is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
President Thomas Jefferson appointed the famous American architect Benjamin H. Latrobe to design the gate which was completed in 1806. Latrobe’s innovative use of a Greek revival design was one of the first structures at the Navy Yard. Interestingly, Dr. William Thorton, a competing architect at the time and designer of the US Capital, criticized the gate as “a monument to bad taste and design,” and that the anchors were “fitter for a cock boat than a gun boat!”
The structure escaped being burned down when the British sacked the capital during the War of 1812. Although modified through the years, the gate has the reputation of being the oldest continuously manned post in US Navy and currently serves as a ceremonial entrance for the US Chief of Naval Operations and flag officer who reside at the Yard. The original anchors were hand carved out of wood and are now housed at the National Museum of the United States Navy located at the Navy Yard. The replica anchors were created by digitally laser scanning the historic originals in to a computer file from which a new design was superimposed. The new geometry was then used to make foundry molds to cast durable, lightweight, solid aluminum anchors which were later painted gold. They were installed on April 7th, 2010.
Danko Arlington is comprised of a foundry, pattern, and machine shop operation which manufacture aluminum sand castings for a variety of commercial and defense applications, including components for US Navy ships, submarines, weapons, and aviation.
The company has special fondness for this project as its founder, Joseph O. Danko, Sr., served his apprenticeship at the Washington Navy Yard’s pattern shop during World War I, before starting his own business in Baltimore in 1920. The company’s second generation president, Joseph O. Danko, Jr., enrolled in the Navy’s Maryland V-12 college training program and was commissioned LTJG at the tail end of World War II. John Danko, now the third generation President of the company, is very proud to recreate these historic and treasured symbols of the US Navy which should easily last at least another two hundred years!