|Built to meet the
needs of the expanding college, the Armory included a gymnasium, shooting galleries, and
horse stalls. Commencement activities were to be held in the new Armory, in addition to
circuses, plays, dances, and concerts. In December of 1922, a fire completely destroyed
the building. Arson was suspected, but never proven. Shortly after, an exact copy was
built, with the exception of the fireproof materials used to build the second Armory.
An addition to the west side was built in 1941, to match the existing east
wing, and provided additional classroom space. Beginning in 1946, home men's basketball
games were held in the Armory, and shortly after varsity wrestling followed. In 1956, the
Armory was remodeled to add classrooms and make the building more suitable for concerts,
indoor athletics, and graduation ceremonies by increasing seating capacity from 3500 to
8500. Beginning during the 1970's, the building was mainly used for general recreation -
basketball, tennis, badminton, volleyball, etc. Twelve design studios were built in the
building in 1990, and the ROTC moved its training to State Gym.