Eighth Regiment Armory (Chicago)

Coordinates: 41°49′50.47″N 87°37′9.64″W / 41.8306861°N 87.6193444°W / 41.8306861; -87.6193444
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Eighth Regiment Armory
Eighth Regiment Armory.jpg
Eighth Regiment Armory (Chicago) is located in Chicago metropolitan area
Eighth Regiment Armory (Chicago)
Eighth Regiment Armory (Chicago) is located in Illinois
Eighth Regiment Armory (Chicago)
Eighth Regiment Armory (Chicago) is located in the United States
Eighth Regiment Armory (Chicago)
Location3533 South Giles Avenue, Chicago, Illinois
Coordinates41°49′50.47″N 87°37′9.64″W / 41.8306861°N 87.6193444°W / 41.8306861; -87.6193444
ArchitectJ.B. Dibelka
MPSBlack Metropolis TR
NRHP reference No.86001096 [1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPApril 30, 1986
Designated CLSeptember 9, 1998

The Eighth Regiment Armory, located in the Black Metropolis-Bronzeville District of Chicago, Illinois, was the first armory in the United States built for an African-American military regiment, known as the "Fighting 8th".[2] The building later was used by a division of the Illinois National Guard, and during World War I was incorporated into the US Infantry. After closing the armory in the early 1960s, it became the South Central Gymnasium. In 1999, following an extensive renovation, it was reopened as a public high school military academy.[3] The restoration and conversion into a school has been recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.[4]

The nearby Victory Monument honors the regiment for service during World War I.

The armory was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on April 30, 1986, and was designated as a Chicago Landmark on September 9, 1998. It is one of nine landmark structures in the Black Metropolis-Bronzeville District.[2] In currently houses the Chicago Military Academy.

In popular culture[edit]

On June 27, 1937, the armory hosted a battle of the bands, featuring big bands. The Roy Eldridge's band began the show, followed by the 16 piece Benny Goodman band, with Gene Krupa on the drums and Harry James on the trumpet. The popular tune King Porter Stomp was a highlight of the evening.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  2. ^ a b "Eighth Regiment Armory". City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development, Landmarks Division. 2003. Archived from the original on 2007-08-15. Retrieved 2007-08-05.
  3. ^ "Chicago Public Schools". Public Building Commission of Chicago. Archived from the original on 2007-06-11. Retrieved 2007-08-05.
  4. ^ "Military Academy Addition Gets Revised Design at Community Request". Public Building Commission of Chicago. 2001-02-28. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-08-05.
  5. ^ "DRILLING FOR SCHOLARS". Public Broadcasting Service. 1999-10-20. Retrieved 2007-08-05.