Squadron "A" Armory
East Side of Madison Avenue between 94th & 95th Streets
This facade facing Madison Avenue is all that remains of the Eighth Regiment Armory, designed by John R. Thomas and built in phases between 1888 and 1895. The armory originally occupied the entire block, with this facade being part of the building used by Cavalry Squadron A. The building was designed to resemble a 14th-century French fortress with square towers, rounded turrents and a crenellated parapet. It was later used by the first New York Hussars (a volunteer unit also called the First Dragoons), a National Guard unit and the WW-I-era 101st Machine Gun Batallion before becoming an indoor polo grounds.
In the early 1960s, the building was considered obsolete and slated for destruction to make way for a school and new residential buildings. The project was abandoned and the armory was given to the Board of Education, which ultimately decided to demolish the building for the construction of Intermediate School 29. After most of the armory had been destroyed, public protests led to a landmarking of the remaining western facade in 1966. Morris Ketchum Jr. adapted his design for IS 29 to resemble a fortress and incorporated the old armory facade as a dramatic backdrop for the school's playground. (reference)
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