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The 69th Regiment Armory A Multifaceted Building In New York City

1530 words - 6 pages

Throughout the semester I have grown accustomed to my surroundings. Well, at least for the most part. There is still one building that intrigues me to this very day. As I’d walk past it on my journey to Baruch College, I’d stare the entire time. The building seems like a simple rectangular building. However, some aspect of the architectural design captivates me. Strangely enough, army trucks are always parked alongside the building. However, upon attempting to research the building, I could not find it. I was too intimidated to venture in and inquire for the name. None of the bystanders I asked knew the name of the building, nor cared to.
To my amazement, after trying various peculiar combinations of words such as “army”, “building”, and “Lexington Avenue”, I discovered the name of the intriguing building: The 69th Regiment Armory. The Armory proved to be a more intriguing building than I had ever imagined. The Armory is an active training facility. However, The Armory doesn’t simply house the 165th infantry, rather adds culture to New York City. One may ask, how can a historical landmark (Murray) in which armies train prove to be cultural? We will embark on a journey to discover the second, lesser-known aspect, of the armory.
1906. Richard and Joseph Hunt completed their masterpiece (Museum Planet). The building of the 69th Regiment Armory came to a culmination. “Earlier armories had been designed in medieval styles, making use of fortress imagery.” However, the 69th Regiment Armory was the first armory that rejected the medieval fortress prototype (Murray). The 69th Regiment Armory design was classically influenced: the influence of the late Tudor and Beaux Art styles. The building also includes minute characteristics that were influence by its military function as well as to medieval Gothic architecture. Following the building of the 69th Regiment Armory, subsequent armories were built using the same architectural style (United States Department of the Interior). Therefore the 69th Regiment Armory revolutionized the view of architectural design of armories.
Once again, in 1913, artistic tastes and perceptions were revolutionized and The Armory was the catalyst. Modern Art was brought to the United States with the historic 1913 Armory Show, in which the International Exhibition of Art was held. Modern European and American painters and sculptors displayed their masterpieces for all to see. These artists became known as masters of art. Such artists include: Van Gough, Picasso, Edward Hopper, and numerous others (Museum Planet). “The Armory Show challenged and changed both the academic and public definition and attitude toward art and by doing so altered the court of history for American artists” (Larson). Critics at the time claimed that the exhibition was a crisis in American Art and should not be glorified. They claimed that the “exhibition had been merely of bizarre, insincere work, or incompetent painting.” However, if...

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