The Coast Guard has had a presence in Scituate since 1879 when a life saving station was established on Fourth Cliff. Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary's main building was originally constructed by the U.S. Coast Guard in 1938 to provide offices and barracks for the Scituate Station, replacing a smaller facility on Surfside Road. At its peak, the station housed 35 personnel. Over the next 40 plus years, there were few changes to the Colonial Revival-style building until a fire on February 21, 1954 gutted the interior and heavily damaged the watchtower. The cupula was deemed “no longer operational” and was not replaced when the building was repaired and renovated.
In the development of the Scituate Station, the Coast Guard transported a four-bayed building via barge to serve as a garage and storage area behind the main building. In addition, a large boathouse in a similar architectural style as the main building was also towed in and placed at the end of Sunset Road. In 1997, the Coast Guard began to downsize the station and in 1999 ownership of the property was transferred to NOAA and the sanctuary. A major renovation in 2004 rehabbed the garage into a meeting annex and the main building into a more modern office facility.