The Armory, on the corner of Bentz and Second Street was built in 1913 to serve Company A, First Regiment of the Maryland National Guard. It is a beautiful example of adaptive reuse. The armory was built in a T shape. It has a two story “head” in the front and a long drill hall extending to the rear. At first glance, the building front on Bentz Street reminds one of a fortress with its dark masonry construction and towers and buttresses. Children often know this building on sight, calling it the “castle.”
After Company A moved to new quarters in the 1980’s, the building provided space for a number of social and recreational events. In 2001, the City renovated the building. The gymnasium that was used for marching is now used for basketball, volleyball and events. The basement is a fitness center; and smaller rooms all over the building are used for meetings, offices and storage.
Passers by no longer hear marching orders for soldiers in the drill hall. Now, we hear the music and directions of exercise instructors for aerobic classes, the clink of exercise equipment in use in the Fitness Center, and the active voices of citizenry in the classrooms and social rooms. Check out the brochure on the William R. Talley Recreation Center at www.cityoffrederick.com under Recreation for the list of programs and offerings available at the Center now.
Did you know?
William R. Talley was the first Director of Recreation for Frederick City and a man with a long legacy of coaching and a long serving supporter of recreational activities.
Do you know the name of the contractor who built the Frederick Armory in 1913?