Old Armory Restoration Underway
(PRESS RELEASE)_May 23, 2023 (WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.) – The Armory Art Center has begun restoring the historic Old Armory building. Over the next few months, portions of the Art Deco building will be closed to the public as repairs move throughout the building. The brief interruptions will not impact summer classes.
Before it was put to use by an arts organization, the Old Armory building served as a training center for soldiers and National Guardsmen. The building was designed by William Manley King and built in 1939 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) under Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The building served as an Armory until the 1980s and doubled as a community-focused hall for high school dances and other public events. Over the years, notables such as opera star Luciano Pavarotti and actor Burt Reynolds used the building for art exhibitions and fundraisers.
In the 1980s, the building fell into disrepair before local activists saved it from demolition in 1987. The founding members of the Armory Art Center restored the building for use as an art center. The building was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1992.
“The Armory Art Center has a longstanding history right here in Palm Beach County,” said John Suau, CEO. “By investing in this iconic building with support from the Florida Department of State Division of Historic Resources and the Armory Art Center’s board of directors, we’re investing in the next chapter of our rich legacy.”
The building’s exterior, which is being restored by West Palm Beach-based architect Rick Gonzalez (REG Architects), is the focus of the initial phase of the project.
Phase one of the exterior restoration will include a new roof, windows, and doors. Following the exterior restoration, the Armory Art Center will renovate interior spaces with updates to the administrative offices, the jewelry and metalworking studios, the galleries, and a new Armory Art Center Shop. There will be brief interruptions to access the facilities during the year-long process, but the project will not impact classes.
For more updates on the restoration, visit armoryart.org.
This project is sponsored in part by the Department of State, Division of Historical Resources, and the State of Florida.
Comments are closed.
Exploring what to see and do in North Palm Beach and the South Florida area. Your hosts are Pam and Gerry Barker.
GERRY PRONOUNCED GARY
Listen to Chapter One of "Panama Palmer"