History KYNG Armories
The history of the Kentucky National Guard is in some measure told by the history of the buildings the Guard have occupied in communities across the state. What follows is a brief overview of the concept of armories (now often referred to as Readiness Centers) and a listing by community of current Kentucky National Guard armories. Links to more detailed history of each location will be added as time permits.
The vast majority of this information is gleaned from a study by Kate Carothers for the Kentucky Heritage Council -- Report No. 25" Inventory and Evaluation of National Guard Armories in the State of Kentucky" - 1999.
||The Early Years
Old Louisville Legion Armory from a post card courtesy John Trowbridge
The old Louisville Armory, now known as Louisville Gardens, was the first armory built in the state in 1905.
The armory, as a building type, was first developed after the Civil War. The State Arsenal in Frankfort, constructed in 1850, is a good example of what military buildings were like before the advent of armories. Some offices were housed in the Arsenal, but its main function was that of a storage facility for weapons and ammunition. Once armory construction began, they replaced the earlier, pre-Civil War structures as the most recognizable building of the National Guard.
Early photograph of Kentucky's old State Aresenal
As it was not always possible to build a new armory, some of the towns adapted existing buildings which were adequate to meet the needs of the National Guard. An example of this can be found in Glasgow, where the city purchased the old Glasgow Auditorium building in 1931. This building functioned as an armory until the 1960s, when a new facility was built.
Kentucky National Guard Arsenal History Video
(WMV 40 MB)- A short video about the history of the Kentucky National Guard's oldest building (WMV 40 MB)
Photos and information courtesy Kentucky Heritage Council -- Report No. 25" Inventory and Evaluation of National Guard Armories in the State of Kentucky" - 1999 by Kate Carothers.