The former National Guard Armory at 511 Main Street in West Haven was built in 1932-1933 and remained an active military facility through the late 1970s. Designed by the architectural firm of Fletcher & Thompson, it is an Art Deco structure–the first armory building in Connecticut to break with the earlier castellated Military Gothic style. The armory was later converted into apartment units.
A chapter (called a “tribe”) of the Improved Order of Red Men was established in Bristol in 1890. The organization constructed a three-story brick meeting hall at 43 Prospect Street in Bristol in 1911. Designed by Walter Crabtree and built by B.H. Hubbard Co. of New Britain, the Redmen’s Hall had a state armory on the first floor and a meeting hall on an upper floor. Many town events were held in the hall in the early years of the twentieth century. In 1940 the building was renovated to become a movie theater called the Carberry Theater. The building is now owned by the Christian Fellowship Center.
At the corner of Arch Street and Grand Street in New Britain stands the old New Britain Armory, built in 1886 and designed by Robert Wakeman Hill of Waterbury. He used the same design for the armory in Norwalk. By 1986, when a notice in the New London Day announced that this former state armory was for sale by public bid, the building had left in a state of disrepair for a number of years. Most noticeably, it had lost its original domed top above the central tower. In 1992, the Greater Hartford Architecture Conservancy took control of the building and renovated it to become Armory Court (10 Grand Street), which contains low income housing.
At Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park in Groton is a powder magazine. It was built in 1843 and served the fort‘s nineteenth-century river battery. The battery was paired with a larger one across the Thames River at Fort Trumbull.
In 1830, Officers’ Quarters and Barracks for enlisted men were constructed of stone at Fort Trumbull in New London. A wooden extension to the building, erected in the 1840s, was replaced by a new stone section in 2000. From 1910, Fort Trumbull was used as the training school of the Revenue Cutter Service and then as the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (the Coast Guard was formed in 1915 with the merger of the Life Saving Service and Revenue Cutter Service). The barracks accommodated two cadets to a room and was later converted into the Academy’s library. After the Coast Guard Academy moved in 1932, the building was used primarily as offices.
The imposing Meriden Armory on East Main Street was built in 1908. Once home to a National Guard unit, the Armory hosted dances and sporting events, including Meriden native Max E. Muravnick‘s first professional boxing match. The National Guard closed the Armory in 1998 and sold it to a private developer. The building has remained closed and is difficult to market due to its deteriorating condition and lack of parking.
The former Wallingford Armory, at 121 North Main Street in Wallingford, was built as a state armory in 1920. The castellated structure, designed by Walter P. Crabtree, now serves as part of the Wallingford Police Department headquarters.