Regimental armories dot the various neighborhoods of New York City, especially in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Though some are still used by National Guard units, they are today primarily centers for social and artistic gatherings. Most famously, of course, there was the 1913 Armory Show at the home of the 69th Regiment. It was at the Armory Show–no other adjectives necessary–that Americans got their first view of Modern Art prior to the First World War. The 69th is on the East Side and still very much a functioning military post. Every time I am in the neighborhood for a meeting I note the lists of battles the 69th engaged in during the Civil and Great Wars. My favorite armory, however, is the structure built for the 14th Brooklyn in Park Slope. The building was built decades after the Civil War but is nonetheless part of the institutional memory of that unit. Like other armories, the Park Slope building has undergone an extensive facelift. Morley Safer of 60 Minutes fame has produced a PBS documentary on another armory, the Park Avenue building in Manhattan.
(Images: top/Percy Rainford; bottom/Beyond My Ken)