Pyrotechnics Chemistry/Laser Lab
Building Number 1512

Building 1512 was built in 1956 to house an additional laboratory for the existing pyrotechnics research and development facility. It was rectangular, with a concrete foundation and glazed tile walls, and had a central double doorway on the west (front) façade (later replaced with a single door) flanked by large windows, plus windows at the rear. The building contained four laboratory rooms equipped with fume hoods, an office, and a small conference room. In 1964, an extension was built on the south side, adding two additional laboratory rooms, each with an exterior entrance door and window. A bin for storing gas cylinders was later added to the south side of the addition. Building 1512 housed chromatography and spectroscopy instrumentation in the 1950s and 60s (see tab), but by circa 1970 the majority of the building was in use as a laser laboratory. Laser technology, developed at the end of the 1950s and first operated successfully in 1960, was soon under study in the military for use in igniting pyrotechnic devices (as well as for weapons guidance systems). Building 1512 was being used for equipment storage prior to being vacated for demolition.

Building Information

Year Built



Concrete foundation, glazed tile walls, build-up concrete roof.


One-story 47' x 33' original building, with one-story 25' x 33' addition’


Addition, 1964


Picatinny boasted state-of-the-art pyrotechnics laboratories in 1956, featuring instrumentation for analyzing gases, liquids, and solids, fluorescence and phosphorescence, and the study of ultraviolet radiation.

Building 1512 InstrumentBuilding 1512 Instrument
Building 1512 InstrumentBuilding 1512 InstrumentBuilding 1512 Instrument

Building No. 1512 Plans (click on the image for a separate close-up view)

  • Building 1512 Plan
  • Building 1512 Plan
  • Building 1512 Plan

Additional Building Photographs

Building no. 1512
Building No. 1512