from an early 1900s post card
The Elmira Armory on East Church Street

The State Armory on East Church Street

The Armory was originally built in 1886 to accommodate the existing Army regiments in the area, the Twenty-sixth and the Thirtieth Separate Companies. Each of these regiments had been using various buildings in Elmira such as the old Advertiser building at Lake and Market Streets, Holden Hall at Water and Baldwin Streets and the Academy of Music Hall.

The new Armory building was erected especially for the use of these military units and was complete with a large drill room and every object and weapon necessary for the military's use. At the time, the Armory was one of only two buildings in the Elmira area which had received outside money from the State of New York or the U.S. Government for its construction. The other building was the Elmira Reformatory, which had been completed ten years earlier in 1876.

The building was finally purchased from the State of New York by the City of Elmira in 1973 for $60,000 and after renovation where an additional sum of $275,000 was invested, it was made useful for a variety of purposes. Office space for Urban Renewal Headquarters, a gymnasium for youth basketball leagues and a new emergency sprinkler system all combined to make the building a facility that the city could really use. The gym was able to accommodate up to 1,000 persons for community functions.


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