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NNPTC Baldwin Park Barracks

Location Class:
Built: 1990 | Abandoned: 1998
Status: Demolished
Photojournalist: David Bulit
Thought by neighborhood kids as an old mental hospital was actually the barracks for recruits entering power school.

In December 1966, it was announced that Orlando will be the site for the country’s third Naval Training Center due to it’s temperate climate, good transportation network, sufficient family housing and the availability of the nearby Orlando Air Force Base. The Orlando Naval Training Center(NTC) was commissioned on July 1, 1968, it’s primary use being the indoctrination of enlisted personnel at the Recruit Training Command. The campus included five barracks for 3,600 recruits, a mess-hall, a classroom building, a recruit chapel, and a training ship mock-up. By 1973, the facilities were doubled in size to accommodate 8,000 recruits.

In the mid-1970s, the Nuclear Power School relocated to Orlando from California and Maryland. The school trained officers and enlisted sailors on in nuclear propulsion after formal training elsewhere.

In 1993, the Orlando Naval Training Center along with many other military installations across the country were ordered to close by the 1993 Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission. The Recruit Training Command graduated it’s last company on December 2, 1994 and officially closed on March 31, 1995. The base was decommissioned in December 1998 upon the graduation of the final Nuclear Power School class.

Long before it’s closure, a redevelopment plan was created which included approximately 3,000 residential units, commercial space, and a pedestrian-oriented village center. In October 1999, the City of Orlando bought the property from the Navy and immediately resold the land to the developer, Orlando NTC Partners(now Baldwin Park Development Company), as per the plan. Demolition began soon after and was completed by mid-April 2001.

Over the years, as Baldwin Park was being constructed and the community grew, one remnant of the old Navy base remained. This 7-floor building was the first stop after boot camp for going to power school. It housed entering students through most of “A” school. Built in 1990, it was the newest building on the base at the time of base closure. The last entry class to use the building was in 1998 (E class 98-42). Class 98-42 attended only “A” school in Orlando and transferred to Charleston where the Power School Command was relocated to.

Plans to construct 410 apartments units on the remaining empty parcels of land in Baldwin Park were approved in 2008 and preparation for demolition of the barracks building began in May 2009. The building was demolished in May 2012.

Photo Credit: Bluestreak, 2012 - The building was demolished in May to make room for a new apartment complex.
Photo Credit: Bluestreak, 2012 – The building was demolished in May to make room for a new apartment complex.

David Bulit is a photographer, author, and historian from Miami, Florida. He has published a number of books on abandoned and forgotten locales throughout the United States and continues to advocate for preserving these historic landmarks. His work has been featured throughout the world in news outlets such as the Miami New Times, the Florida Times-Union, the Orlando Sentinel, NPR, Yahoo News, MSN, the Daily Mail, UK Sun, and many others. You can find more of his work at davidbulit.com as well as amazon.com/author/davidbulit.

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