OGDENSBURG – The New York National Guard has withdrawn from the historic New York State Armory, 225 Elizabeth St., leaving it vacant.
The armory had housed a detachment from the 108th Infantry Regiment, most recently consisting of about 30 National Guard members, according to New York National Guard spokesman Eric D. Durr.
“Last week, the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs officially advised the Office of General Services (OGS) that the Ogdensburg Armory is no longer required for our military purposes and we plan to declare the armory surplus,” Durr said. said. “Until eight months ago we had a detachment from the 108th Infantry Regiment doing drills at the Ogdensburg Armoury”
The New York National Guard has two infantry battalions – the 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry and the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry, according to Durr. He said the decision was based on consolidations and profitability between those infantry battalions.
The detachment of soldiers that was in Ogdensburg was moved.
“We’ve consolidated and tried to streamline where we need staff and are trying to be cost effective,” Durr said. “This detachment has been moved to Morrisonville Armory which is also part of the 108th Infantry Regiment. These soldiers are now drilling there. This is part of a larger overhaul of our infantry assets.
In an email responding to a request for comment, OGS public information officer Joseph A. Brill wrote that the Armory is owned by the state and that the Division of Military Affairs and State Naval Forces “will continue to be responsible for the upkeep of the armory until a closure with a new owner occurs.
“OGS only assumes jurisdiction over ownership to administer its transfer to a new owner,” Mr. Brill said, “Once OGS receives official notification that the armory has been declared surplus, OGS will inspect and analyze the property first to determine if it could meet any other needs New York State might have for it The property would be offered first to other state agencies before other options are available. be considered for disposal.
If the state has no other use for the property, there are several options, including public auction, according to Mr. Brill.
“OGS will work with our state agency partners to consider the best possible course of action,” he said.
Another option is that the city of Ogdensburg could acquire the property.
“A municipality can acquire surplus property from the state, and there’s more than one route to take, including special legislation and transfer, depending on the municipality’s intended use of the property,” Ms. .Brill.
According to historical records, the city’s New York State Armory was built between 1897 and 1898 and it was designed by Isaac Perry, the same state architect who drew up the plans for the now known St. Lawrence State Hospital. as the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center.
The lower levels were constructed with Ogdensburg limestone from the Nevin Quarry on Riverside Drive, while the upper levels were made from Potsdam sandstone. It has two turrets and two big towers. Records indicate that “the towers and turrets are crenellated. The narrow windows in the shape of castle windows give the building the appearance of an old fortified castle.
The armory was originally built for the 40th Separate Company under Captain Frank Chapman, who commanded 90 men.
“Since its opening in 1898, military units, conscripts and volunteers have congregated here before leaving for service,” records say. “The Armory is not only historically significant for its association with American military history, but also in particular the history of the National Guard.”
The Ogdensburg Armory was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.