They tend to be imposing structures.
Built to contain ammunition, troops and sometimes even cavalry horses and equipment, military armories were made for a time when war could be just around the corner.
But times have changed; the military’s mission is not what it was, and units are smaller.
So when the armed forces move to more cost-effective spaces, what happens to the old armories?
The answer is simple: repurpose the buildings into something else.
An armory might end up as an office complex, a farmers’ market, or even shops, restaurants and condos; all it takes is funding and some imaginative people with a plan. [This article profiles three great examples.]
The armory in Albany, NY sat vacant—until a local college saw it and picked it up for the bargain price of $675,000. For a site that included 68,000 square feet of space on a three-acre site, it was a steal for Sage College.
Starting in 2012, the college renovated disused space into 21,000 square feet of seminar rooms, classrooms, a conference room, student lounge, and faculty offices. Phase 2 will be more classrooms and faculty offices, while Phase 3 will be the big project: turning the three-story-high “drill shed” into a multipurpose area that both the college and community can use.
“For nearly 90 years, the National Guard used this building to serve the Capital Region and our country. We are proud The Armory at Sage will continue that tradition, preparing our students to serve their community,” said Sage College President Susan Scrimshaw.