Looking Backward: Connecticut Street Armory, 1982

by / Nov. 21, 2017 8pm EST

Looking back at the July 12, 1982, fire that consumed the Connecticut Street Armory, 182 Connecticut Street, it is remarkable that the armory still exists at all. The blaze destroyed all but the walls of the drill shed on the northern half of the building, the southern half saved by a firewall dividing the two parts. The Medina sandstone walls erected between 1898 and 1899 performed as expected—largely withstanding the fire’s onslaught as only the interior burned. At a time when trigger happy decision-makers may have ordered an emergency demolition, cooler heads prevailed. The New York Division of Military and Naval Affairs rebuilt the drill hall, even replacing Medina sandstone that was beyond repair—a process that required reopening the original quarry and cutting the stone to match. The New York National Guard still uses the armory today.