The Washington Avenue Armory

The Washington Avenue Armory is a multipurpose facility in downtown Albany that once housed the Tenth Battalion National Guard.

In 1890 famous New York architect Isaac Perry designed the Washington Avenue Armory. The armory housed the Tenth Battalion National Guard as well as many events. Everything from Concerts to Basketball to Wrestling and Roller Derby have been, and continue to be, hosted in the Washington Avenue Armory.

The Washington Avenue Armory sits on the popular corner of Washington Avenue and Lark Street in downtown Albany. The armory has become a landmark of downtown Albany. It has played different roles in Albany history throughout its time. Architect Isaac Perry built the armory in 1890. (“Armory The About”) Perry gained fame for his buildings throughout New York. He is most notably remembered for building a plethora of armories. The Washington Avenue Armory was one of his first armory jobs and set the tone for his later work. (“Isaac G. Perry”)

When the armory was opened in 1890 it became the house to the Tenth Battalion National Guard. The National Guard resided in the Washington Avenue Armory until the 1980s. It has since gained many different uses. Since basketball has been played on a collegiate level it has housed many teams throughout the years. It also housed multiple minor league teams. After it was constructed it was the only suitable arena to house a basketball team for many years. (“Armory The About”) The most noteworthy team that was housed by the Washington Avenue Armory was the Albany Patroons of the Continental Basketball Association. The Patroons won two championships, while playing in the armory, in 1984 and 1988. (“Albany Patroons”) Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson, who is noted for coaching Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant and winning a total of 11 NBA championships, lead the Albany Patroons to their first championship in 1984 and won his first championship as a head coach. (“Phil Jackson”)

After the Times Union Center was built in 1990 the Albany Patroons left the armory and began to play at Times Union. (“Albany Patroons“) At this point in time the armory was not being used for anything. Many called for it to become an expansion of the library next door. There was debate about what to do with the unused arena for years until 2004 when the Albany Basketball and Sports Corporation purchased the armory. They renovated the floor and the Albany Patroons moved back in until the Continental Basketball Association disbanded in 2009. (“About The Armory”)

The armory remains in use to this day. It is rented out for many different occasions. It has turned into a concert hall and roller derby arena for the most part. It houses the Albany All Stars Roller Derby League. In 1995 the armory was added to the National Register of Historic Places. It remains a landmark of downtown Albany that serves many purposes to the community. (“Washington Avenue Armory”)

Street Address:

195 Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12210 [map]

Cite this Page:

Sean Greene, “The Washington Avenue Armory,” Albany Walks for Health, accessed December 13, 2018, http://www.albanywalksforhealth.com/items/show/56.

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