APL's first "home" was a Silver Spring, MD, building commandeered by the U.S. government and turned into a defense organization, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.
During the war years, the Wolfe building was quickly transformed into a "modern" office building. Demands for expertise in guided missile technology kept APL in business after the end of the war. With additions, the building (at 8621 Georgia Avenue, a block off Colesville Road) served as APL's headquarters until the Howard County site was developed. (APL's sign was removed after the final staff members left in 1976.)
Demands for expertise in guided missile technology kept APL in business after the end of WWII. The University purchased a farm in then-rural Howard County, about 15 miles to the north. Laboratory personnel began to move in after the completion and dedication of Building 1 in 1954, although the Silver Spring facility remained in use until the 1970s.
Eight years later, several new buildings had been added. One, "out back" along a dirt road, would become a platform for Navy radar development and testing.
Continuing to meet our sponsors' needs, APL added Buildings 6 and 7, a satellite tracking station, a pond, and more parking.
The completion of Building 8 allowed for relocation of all APL personnel from the original 8621 Georgia Avenue location in Silver Spring.
The landscape changed dramatically with the addition of the Space Integration Facility (Building 23, behind the dish) and the Kossiakoff Conference and Education Center in the "front yard."
A new Building 13 took the place of one of the last remaining structures from the 1950s in virtually the same footprint, and Building 24 construction was underway.
The main campus, looking north toward Columbia. Not shown in the photo are the APL Credit Union and Montpelier campus to the right.