Armory01b.jpg (9318 bytes)


Built: 1920-1921

Burned: 1922

Rebuilt: 1923-1924

Addition: 1941

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.

Additional images of the Armory

click for larger view

Armory 02 Armory 03 Armory4
Armory fire, 1922. Armory, 1923. Armory, no date.

History of Campus Buildings at Iowa State University

Comments: University Archives
Created by: Andrea Reis, Research/Technical Assistant & Jill Osweiler Schaefer, Special Collections Librarian

Updated by: Michele Christian, University Records Analyst