A number of buildings were constructed at the Springfield Armory to serve as Company Officer’s Quarters. Pictured above is one of a pair of adjacent identical structures built in the Greek Revival style in 1836. Next to these is an earlier building, dating to 1833. A fourth one, facing Armory Square, was built in 1880. All four buildings are now part of the campus of Springfield Technical Community College. Scroll or click below to see pictures of the other three buildings: Read More
Both civilians and military personnel worked at the Springfield Armory, with the military presence increasing during the Civil War and in the following years. Requiring more housing for junior officers, a duplex house was built for the purpose on Armory Square in 1870. The house is unlike other Armory buildings, having been designed in the Second Empire style with a Mansard roof.
The Long Storehouse at Springfield Armory is a 764-foot structure, built in four stages between 1846 and 1863. It was constructed as part of Maj. James Ripley‘s improvement campaign and was originally a storehouse for the wood used in making gun stocks. The building’s third stage provided stables for the Armory’s horses and the entire structure has also been known as a casern, or cavalry barracks. As described by Albert Harleigh Kirkham in King’s Handbook of Springfield
Whilst digging for the foundations of the long storehouse which stands upon the terrace overlooking Pearl and Worthington Streets, the remains of 12 or more soldiers dressed in regimentals were uncovered. During the 1812 war, the United-States Armory being a Government post, the United-States soldiers were often quartered in the barracks and in the dwelling-houses which were on “public ground.” The houses were commonly occupied by Armorers; but, at a short notice that soldiers were coming, they moved out, and the soldiers moved in, and they remained in these comfortable quarters a longer or shorter time, “according to orders.” A portion of the ground now occupied by the storehouse was then used as a graveyard; and soldiers were often buried there, and buried, too, in their uniforms.
We end Springfield Armory Week at Historic Buildings of Massachusetts with three posts today. Our first post is about the building which is today known as Garvey Hall. In 1862, three buildings at the east end of Armory Square at the Springfield Armory were joined together and connected by a new third story. One of the buildings was built around 1817-1819 and the others two, the North and South Shops, in 1824. A tower was built on the newly combined structure to match the tower of the Main Arsenal, located at the opposite end of armory square. The building was used for administration, as well as for storage and occasionally research and light manufacturing. In 1984, it became the administrative offices of Springfield Technical Community College and was renamed in honor of STCC’s founding president, Dr. Edmond P. Garvey Read More
Another of the early arsenal buildings at Springfield Armory is the East Arsenal, constructed in 1836. Originally a storehouse for arms, the East Arsenal, like the neighboring West and Middle Arsenals, was converted to other uses after the completion of the Main Arsenal in 1851. The former East Arsenal was later enlarged and attached to the Armory’s administration building, thus enclosing the southeast corner of Armory Square. The building is now known as Garvey Hall South and is part of the campus of Springfield Technical Community College.
The Middle Arsenal at the Springfield Armory was constructed in 1830 and was the first three-story building on the Armory grounds. Used to store arms, it was here that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow visited during his second honeymoon in 1843 and that his wife, Fanny, compared the stored arms in their racks to a pipe organ. Encouraged to write an anti-war poem by his wife, Longfellow was inspired to use her imagery and write the poem, “The Arsenal at Springfield” (1845). After the completion of the Main Arsenal, in 1851, the Middle Arsenal was converted to other purposes, including being used during the Civil War, along with other earlier arsenal buildings, as part of an assembly line, leading to the Main Arsenal, where finished weapons were stored. The building is now part of the campus of Springfield Technical Community College.
The oldest surviving building at the Springfield Armory is the West Arsenal, the first two floors of which were constructed in 1808 as a storehouse for completed weapons. The third floor was added in 1863. After the completion of the Main Arsenal, in 1851, the West Arsenal served other purposes over the years, becoming a barrel house, storehouse, recreation building, barracks and, during World War Two, an officer’s club. Today it is part of the campus of Springfield Technical Community College.