Jersey City Armory

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Jersey City Armory
Jersey City, New Jersey
Site information
Controlled by New Jersey National Guard
Site history
Built 1937
In use 1937 — present
Facade on Montgomery Street from corner of Summit Avenue[1]

The Jersey City Armory is located at 678 Montgomery Street near McGinley Square in Jersey City, New Jersey, USA. In addition to being a military training and mustering facility of the New Jersey National Guard (New Jersey National Guard 2/113 Infantry 250 Jersey City), the WPA era armory has long been used as a sports arena, particularly for boxing, basketball, and track and field events, and more recently mixed martial arts.

Under the auspices of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veteran Affairs, the armory is leased to the city for community and political events and extracurricular sports programs. It has also been used as a film studio.

Architecture[edit]

The armory was built to replace the previous Fourth Regiment Armory which had burned down in 1927.[2] The Works Progress Administration project was completed in 1937, the same year the city's other big sports venue, the since demolished Roosevelt Stadium.[3] The three-story beaux-arts structure features English Renaissance details with a granite base, brick exterior wall, and terra cotta trim. The massive interior is 175,000 square feet.[4] Between 2005 and 2009 the armory underwent a $5.7 million refurbishment which included state-of-the-art running surface, a new basketball court, new lighting and a four-sided scoreboard as well installation of new locker rooms and restrooms.[5][6] In 2010, the sidewalks around the armory were repaired.[7]

Notable events[edit]

The New Jersey National Guard maintains 64 armories within forty-six communities,[8] as part of New Jersey Department of Military and Veteran Affairs. Some are used for non-military activities, such as the Teaneck Armory, home to the New Jersey Nets in their first season.[9]

Both the former and current armories in Jersey City have played an important role in Hudson County and New Jersey's pugilist past, which includes the 1921 DempseyCarpentier world heavyweight championship at Boyle's Thirty Acres. The current armory has hosted many bouts, including those with James J. Braddock, Sonny Liston, and Chuck Wepner, aka Bayonne Bleeder. In a 1979 fund raiser for the Jersey City Medical Center then Mayor of Jersey City Thomas F. X. Smith challenged Muhammad Ali to an exhibition bout, and went three rounds before a crowd of 8,000.[10][11][12] In 2010, the first fight card in three decades returned to the Armory with the mixed martial arts Urban Conflict Championship.[13] Trials for the World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Cup 2011 took place in February 2011.

The arena has also hosted basketball games, including those played by St. Anthony High School, ten time winners of New Jersey's Tournament of Champions and considered one of the United States' top high school basketball teams.[11][12][14] The school's long-time Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame coach, Bob Hurley,[14] was instrumental in bringing about the renewal of the court and other renovations.[6]

Since 2005 the annual Dan Finn Classic, a day of basketball games, has taken place at the Armory. The event is in memory Dan Finn, a St. Peter's Preparatory School graduate who died in a fatal accident and, as organ donor, was able to assist four other people after his death.[15]

Prior to the opening of the Yanitelli Center on its campus nearby, Saint Peter´s College used the venue for its home games, and still occasionally uses the venue for high-profile games.[11]

Many local, regional, and state (New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association) track meets are also held at the venue.[16] Professional wrestling events produced by Jersey All Pro Wrestling have taken place in the arena as well.

In 2004, the Armory was the site of memorial service for deceased Jersey City mayor Glenn Dale Cunningham attended by 5000,[17] and where in 2007 his wife Sandra Bolden Cunningham launched her political career.[18]

In 2006, a funeral attended by thousands took place at the armory for Jersey City Police officer Robert Nguyen. He and his partner, Shawn Carson, had died on December 25 after their patrol car plunged in the Hackensack River from a draw bridge which they were not informed had been opened. Along with traditional bagpipes, Buddhist monks participated in the ceremony, reflecting Nguyen's Vietnamese-American background. [19]

Film studio[edit]

The floor space and height of the Armory has led to it being used as a temporary studio for many projects, including Robert De Niro's A Bronx Tale, the Faye Dunaway thriller Eyes Of Laura Mars, Laura Brannigan's music video "Self-Control",[20] Woody Allen's Deconstructing Harry,[21] Terry Kinney's Diminished Capacity,[22] and A Perfect Murder by Andrew Davis.[23]

Location and transportation[edit]

The Jersey City Armory is located in the Journal Square district of the city, near the Art Deco Beacon complex.

At the Journal Square Transportation Center, PATH rapid transit trains provide connections to Newark, Downtown Jersey City, Hoboken and Manhattan. Local bus connections to points in Hudson County and to the Port Authority Bus Terminal are nearby or at the train station. Montgomery – West Side buses pass the main entrance. On-site parking is not available, but numerous lots are within walking distance.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ NJ National Guard Armory
  2. ^ Karnoutsos, Carmela; Shalhoub, Patrick (2007). "Fourth Regiment Armory". Jersey City Past and Present. New Jersey City University. Retrieved November 15, 2010. 
  3. ^ Karnoutsos, Carmela; Shalhoub, Patrick (2007). "Roosevelt Stadium". Jersey City Past and Present. New Jersey City University. Retrieved January 5, 2011. 
  4. ^ Karnoutsos, Carmela; Shalhoub, Patrick (2007). "New Jersey National Guard Armory". Jersey City Past and Present. New Jersey City University. Retrieved November 15, 2010. 
  5. ^ Thorbourne, Ken (July 29, 2008). "Jersey City Armory renovations continue". Jersey Journal (Jersey City). Retrieved 2010-11-17. 
  6. ^ a b Hague, Jim (January 15, 2006). "Historic sports palace restored Jersey City Armory enjoys grand re-opening after 4-million facelift". Hudson Reporter. Retrieved 2011-01-05. 
  7. ^ Arrue, Karina L. (October 4, 2010). "State responds to complains about Armory with $105,000 to fix sidewalks". Jersey Journal. Retrieved 2011-02-03. 
  8. ^ "New Jersey National Guard". Global Security. Retrieved 2011-01-04. 
  9. ^ Wojnarowski, Adrian. "Twenty-five years later, Boe makes up for mistake", ESPN.com, June 3, 2003. Accessed June 5, 2007. "They were supposed to host a one-game playoff at the Armory on March 23, 1968, but the circus chased the Americans to the Commack Arena on Long Island. Trouble was, nobody bothered to check out the court.... Mikan declared the court unplayable, New Jersey had to forfeit the game, Kentucky advanced to the playoffs and New Jersey never played another game in Teaneck Armory."
  10. ^ Hague, Jim (March 22, 2007). "Ringside Jersey City's pugilistic past". Hudson Reporter. Retrieved 2010-11-17. 
  11. ^ a b c "TASTY TIDBITS Armory a sight to behold; Borowski signs with Marlins". Hudson Reporter. January 17, 2006. Retrieved 2010-11-17. 
  12. ^ a b Curry, Jack (March 3, 1991). "School Basketball; Flying Toward His Future". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  13. ^ Cohen, P. (March 22, 2010). "Mixed martial arts makes fast, feisty debut at Jersey City Armory". Jersey Journal. Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  14. ^ a b Anderson, Dave (February 22, 2007). "SPORTS OF THE TIMES; A Coach Who Likes Just Being In the Present". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  15. ^ Dan Finn Classic
  16. ^ NJ Runners.com
  17. ^ Smothers, Ronald (2004-06-02). "Before 5000 Mayor of Jersey is Eulogized for a Life Well Lived". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  18. ^ Smothers, Ronald (February 4, 2007). "Rekindling a Fight, Widow Seeks Senate Seat". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  19. ^ Gettleman, Jeffrey (January 6, 2006). "At Funeral for Drowned Officer in Jersey City, Mourners Remember a Go-Getter". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-01-05. 
  20. ^ "NEW JERSEY A STUDIO CENTER? TEMPORARILY AND PERMANENTLY!". New Jersey Television and Movie Commission. Retrieved 2011-01-05. 
  21. ^ Getting the Big Picture; The Film Industry Started Here and Left. Now It's Back, and the State Says the Sequel Is Huge. – New York Times. Nytimes.com (1998-10-04). Retrieved on 2011-01-10.
  22. ^ "Diminished Capacity". Retrieved 2011-01-05. 
  23. ^ "Shooting the Apple". A Perfect Murder. Warner Brothers. 1998. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°43′29″N 74°3′55″W / 40.72472°N 74.06528°W / 40.72472; -74.06528