Historical Newburgh >> History of the Newburgh Armory
History of the Newburgh Armory
Built in 1931 for the 186th Artillery of the New York Reserve, the Armory was decommissioned in 2010 and through intervention by State Senator William Larkin, was offered to the City of Newburgh for $1.00 pursuant to a letter patent, with one of the permitted uses being that the facility be used to create recreational opportunities for the residents of the City. The building is more than 70,000 sq. feet, including a two story administration block, gymnasium and a 23,000 sq. foot drill hall and ancillary structures. The whole sits on 12.1 acres of land in the west end of the city of Newburgh adjacent to the Delano Hitch Recreational Park.
At the time of the State offer, the City of Newburgh did not have the resources to renovate, maintain and operate the facility. NAUC was formed with leadership by the renowned Newburgh philanthropist William Kaplan, who called on the heads of a number of concerned organizations in the area, with the goal of making the Armory available for the benefit of the residents of the City. Habitat for Humanity, through a Neighborhood Program Initiative, and with funding from the Elaine and William Kaplan Family Foundation, completed Phase 1 of the renovations, rebuilding the gymnasium, locker rooms, bathrooms, and providing handicap accessibility to the gymnasium level of the building.
NAUC is a unique collaborative with the goal of establishing self-sustaining programs focused on Literacy and Learning, Athletics and Well-Being. It is anticipated that income from the newly renovated drill hall – an indoor field – will sustain the free program offerings in literacy, education and athletic skills development.
The Newburgh Armory is built of structural steel framing clad with brick curtain walls. The only ornamentation are the stone lintels and sills, which provide symmetrical balance to the various components of the building. The walls, floors and ceilings are cement. The gymnasium and drill hall have steel roof trusses and wainscoted ceilings. The gymnasium retains its hardwood floor, which was resurfaced in 2010.
The Newburgh Armory was designed by William Haugaard, The New York State architect at the time.
Planning over the fall of 2010 led to “Unity in the Community”, a 3-day celebration of family fun, wellness awareness, soccer and basketball over the Thanksgiving weekend, with over 1000 people participating. Many of the youth oriented not-for-profits, the school district, and colleges, joined together to plan and operate the event. Realizing the need for expanded programming for our youth and the benefits of collaborative programming, the new not-for-profit incorporated in January 2011 and entered into an agreement with the City of Newburgh to operate the facility.
NAUC is responsible for the operations of the Armory.