State Armory (1954)


This view from the State Capital grounds was featured as the January photo in the 2011 Springfield Rewind wall calendar. Here’s how it looks in the calendar:
January Springfield Rewind Photo - State Armory


  1. Steve Cleary:

    Went there to a governors Christmas party in the 60’s, the circus a couple of times, all school choir concerts, city basketball tournaments, a couple rock concerts, and finally my high school graduation in 1976. Lot’s of memories.

  2. Pat Turnbull:

    Outside of it looks pretty much as it did back in the day. I seen Fabian there! They have ruined the inside by having offices there and running wires all over for the computers as they have several of the wonderful old buildings like the Centennial Bldg. Hate to see what the old Franklin building looks like now that the state has bought it and moved the State Police in there.

  3. Craig:

    I worked in the Armory up until 2002. If you walk the stairs up to the mezzanine, it is virtually unchanged from many years ago – you can see what used to be ticket booths, snack areas, and coat check areas still labelled as such.

  4. Barbara Brunk Harris:

    Remember well the city basketball tournements there.

  5. Barbara Wyeth:

    I do, too. And, man, the Spingfield High vs Griffin rivalry. That was BIG excitement…basketball was it!

    • It was indeed, Barb. The most exciting City Tournament highlights for me: John Squires’ rockin’ snare drum exit of the color guard, and the moment when the house lights went down, right before tip-off. And, like Steve, my brother and I went to those governors’ parties, including one in the 50s that featured the Super Circus TV show’s “band conductor,” Mary Hartline.

  6. Walt Surgis:

    I saw the shower of stars there right after big bopper and richie valens were killed in a plane crash in Iowa. They were suppose to be at the armory for the show I saw. Pretty sad.

    • I remember that concert. I was 12 and went by myself, as I didn’t know anyone in the area of my folks’ new home. Two stand-out memories: the guy who sang “Sea Cruise” came rolling out on stage in a sailboat-like prop; and – post concert – some of the singers cruised by the front of the Armory, where I was waiting for my Mom, and got squeals from a few of the girls who recognized them.

  7. Robert:

    Was glad to see that the website is up finally. However, I am not able to see any images on my new IMac on Firefox browser with Java and Flash enabled. Is this a problem with my browser or is the website not quite complete yet?

  8. Susan:

    I saw AND touched Fabian as he passed down the aisle! What excitement! Ah, the good old days!

  9. janet Dillow:

    I went to Springfield High and our graduation ceremony was at the armory. The building was not air conditioned or if it was, it didn’t work. I remember it was so hot that many people left after their graduate’s name was announced. I felt bad for the kids at the end of the alphabet. There were nearly 800 of us graduating that year.

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