November 2017
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Armory Restoration Gains Funding

seventh regiment armory park avenue

Long-overdue preservation and restoration plans for the Seventh Regiment Armory on Park Avenue received a major boost last month when the state announced a $30 million grant for the effort. Governor George E. Pataki made the announcement at the MAS Annual Dinner held inside the armory’s Drill Shed.

The campaign to restore the armory began 11 years ago as a special project of the MAS. The Seventh Regiment Armory Conservancy was formed shortly afterward. Under the tireless and dedicated leadership of co-chairs Elihu Rose and Wade F.B. Thompson, an MAS trustee, it has been focused on restoring the national, state and city landmark. MAS President Kent Barwick has called the effort “the next great landmark project in New York City, on a par with Grand Central Terminal, Central Synagogue, Ellis Island and the U.S. Custom House.”

In announcing the grant, Governor Pataki thanked the conservancy and the MAS for their efforts over the years, and said, “This critical funding will ensure that this historic and beautiful landmark will be restored to its original grandeur and become a unique cultural venue in New York.”

Built between 1877 and 1881, the armory has a long and storied history. Members of the regiment fought in every major war on American soil and in both World Wars. Rooms designed by Louis C. Tiffany and Stanford White have been described by the Landmarks Preservation Commission as “the single most important collection of 19th century interiors in one building.” The building, however, has received only minimal maintenance in recent decades.

Together with $20 million already pledged to the conservancy by private donors, the state grant will help fund major restoration work and prevent further environmental damage both inside and out. The remainder of the renovation cost, another $100 million, will be raised privately. In addition to the restoration, the armory’s uses will be expanded with new programming, and some of the distinctive interiors will be opened for public enjoyment.

For more information about the Seventh Regiment Armory, click here.