Montana State Arsenal
Montana State Arsenal (1942-2001) - A World War II era state arsenal completed in 1942 in Helena, Lewis and Clark County, Montana. Abandoned in 2001.
Montana State Arsenal History
Established in 1942 during World War II by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in Helena, Montana.
The building served as headquarters for the Montana National Guard from 1942 until 2001. The official description furnished to the Governor and the 27th State Legislature:
The Montana State Arsenal, Armory and Drill Hall is a two-story concrete and steel building designed by Helena architect Norman DeKay and constructed between 1940 and 1942. The building has served as command headquarters for the Montana National Guard since it was constructed. The Montana State Arsenal, Armory and Drill Hall (informally referred to as the Armory) reflects the long history and importance of the Montana National Guard's state and federal missions and its presence in the state capital of Helena..
Monolithic concrete. 148 feet wide, 153 deep. Two Stories. Full basement. Partial sub-basement. The basement and sub-basement will have capacity for 70 trucks with large storage space for United States Army Supplies. Also a rifle range. The first floor will have a drill hall 73 feet wide and 102 feet long surrounded on three sides with required locker and storage rooms, office, club rooms and custodian's quarters. .
The second floor will contain offices for the Adjutant General, United States Purchasing and Disbursing Officer, Army Officers and instructors, and a lecture room. The building is fireproof and earthquake resistive. It faces the intersection of Main Street and Lyndale Avenue with a drill area at the rear. It is planned to serve the United States Army as well as the National Guard.
A 1935 earthquake severely damaged the original 1890 armory in Helena and it was demolished. The 1939 state legislature established the Armory Board to sponsor the seven Montana armory projects. Construction began on the Helena Armory in 1940 and it was completed in 1942. The Armory building was a typical WPA project in the early Moderne style.
The Montana National Guard headquarters relocated from this site in December 2001 ending a military role for the building. The building was occupied by a number of government agencies. Currently unoccupied.
Visited: 17 Aug 2016