Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Eighth Regiment Armory

Now that we'd awoken our penchant for exploring*, on Sunday, despite its being a bit chillier than we'd hoped, we embarked on our first long walk in almost six months. The journey took us around the perimeter of Woodlawn Cemetery, past the subway station, along the southern tip of Van Cortlandt Park, curving around the Jerome Park Reservoir, and ended at the Kingsbridge Armory.

Built in 1910 to house a unit of the National Guard, today the Kingsbridge Armory is a gigantic empty castle in the middle of the Bronx. In recent years, there were plans to turn it into some kind of shopping center, which fell through because the developer would not require tenants to guarantee a living wage for their employees. Which is all pretty unfortunate because this building is incredible, and it'd be great to see it put to use for something. (At the same time, it'd be nice for people to be paid decently.)

There's a giant chain link fence going around the building, so it was tricky to get good photos, but you get the idea.

A stray cat slinking through the grass.

Here's one of the entrances. I think the engraving above the door says "258th field artillery."

A view from the subway platform. When you're on the 4 train coming the opposite way, it almost feels like you're going right into the armory, it's that close. In fact, seeing that view out the window is part of what inspired me to come check it out in more detail.

*I just spent about ten minutes trying to figure out how to word that without saying something silly like "whetted our appetite". That's about the best I could come up with.

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