State Armory Restaurant and Bar - 614 8TH AV

 Print Listing Historical Name - Colorado State Armory/Greeley Armory
Style - Late 19th and 20th Century Revivals/Mediterranean Revival
Built Year - 1921
State ID - 5WL4108

Description - Two-story rectangular brick armory building with raised basement. Walls composed of buff brick with brown brick trim. Front gable roof with terra cotta coping and arcaded cornice between projecting towers with shaped parapets trimmed with brown brick. Upper walls of towers have four narrow vertical insets with brick trim. Center white terra cotta plaque reading “State Armory.” Flagpole on roof at apex of gable. Second story of center bay features three multi-light double-hung sash round arched windows with arched interlocking brown brick lintel course. Second stories of towers have paired multi-light double-hung sash windows, and the lintel course extends to the outer walls of the towers. Central entrance has two paneled and glazed doors with geometric glazing. Two engaged white terra cotta square columns supporting entablature with dentil molding on each side of entrance. Entrance area has diagonal wood infill adjacent to doors. Doors are accessed by raised stoop with stairs on each side, metal balustrade, and metal railings. Slightly sloping porch roof supported by metal poles above stoop. Paired multi-light double-hung sash windows flank stoop; windows have dark brick lintel trim. Raised foundation is stuccoed and painted. North and south walls divided by square wall piers with dark brick trim. North and south walls of towers have shaped parapets, narrow vertical insets, and multi-light windows with dark brick lintel trim. Second bay on north and south has large multi-light double-hung sash windows on each story. Third bay on each wall has single multi-light double-hung sash window at intermediate level. North wall has entrance on fourth bay facing ramp. Other bays have double-hung sash windows on each story between wall piers. Full-height brick chimney at northeast corner. Rear wall has shaped parapet, central louvered vent, double-hung sash windows, and altered area with large, round-arched window; entrance facing raised wood stoop.

Historical Background - This building served as a National Guard training center for 37 years. The Colorado National Guard traces its roots to the gold rush days when the General Assembly of the Jefferson Territory authorized the formation of the Jefferson Rangers and the Denver Guards. When Colorado became a territory in 1861 the Colorado Volunteers were organized to protect against Confederate invasion during the Civil War. In 1862 the Colorado soldiers defeated a force of Confederates in New Mexico. In 1864 the Colorado Militia participated in the infamous Sand Creek Massacre. The Colorado Guard was activated as the State Militia to deal with labor unrest in the coal fields during the 1880s. The Guard participated in the Spanish American War in 1898 and in World War I and World War II. After World War II, the Colorado National Guard’s 120th Observation Squadron became the nation’s first Air National Guard in 1946. The Guard has also continuously performed duties throughout the state under the command of the governor to deal with events such as floods and other natural disasters and disturbances. The First Greeley Guards, commanded by Captain B.D. Harper, was established in 1885 and disbanded in 1888. The company was reorganized as the 2nd Infantry Regiment Co. D and served in the Spanish American War. An armory was built at the corner of Tenth Street and Seventh Avenue in 1905, replacing an earlier facility. The Headquarters Company 157th Infantry CNG was organized in 1921 and the Headquarters Company 3rd Battalion Greeley was mustered in 1923. The 157th was composed mostly of high school and college students. The company was redesignated as Company M in 1929 and converted from a headquarters to a machine gun company. This armory was authorized for the Greeley unit in 1921 and completed in 1922 at a cost of $50,000. The National Defense Act of 1920 had reorganized the army into the regular army, the National Guard, and the reserves. The Act stipulated that the federal government would supply equipment, supplies, and pay for the soldiers while training. Each state was responsible for the construction and maintenance of armories. In 1921 the Colorado General Assembly appropriated funds for the construction of armories throughout the state. Localities that wanted an armory had to petition the governor and State Military Board and indicate their support for a Guard unit. The dedication of the Greeley Armory was held on Armistice Day in 1922. By mid-November two dances a week were being held in the building. During the 1930s and 1940s, the armory hosted USO dances and a vaudeville theater. The building was the scene of traveling shows, Saturday night fights, and professional wrestling matches. In 1955 the building was used as the county morgue after an airplane exploded over Weld County killing 44 persons. The building served as the National Guard Armory until 1959. Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church then used the building as a youth center. The Boy’s Club of Greeley, organized in 1962, was also an occupant in later years. In 1972 the Greeley National Bank acquired the building and sold it to Grand American Enterprises. That firm remodeled the building for use as a restaurant. The Greeley Armory’s design was based on a standard plan by architect John J. Huddart and modified for Greeley by Sidney Frazier. A 1939 pictorial review of the Colorado Guard’s armories shows twelve armories based on the same plan. Of these, the Craig Armory, listed in the National Register, may have been the first completed (according to the National Register form). John J. Huddart was born and trained as an architect in England. He moved to Denver in 1882, where he was a draftsman for noted architect Frank E. Edbrooke. In 1887, he started his own firm, eventually expanding to complete work throughout the state. The Greeley design was modified for the local unit by local architect Sidney Frazier (1889-1962), 1st Lieutenant for the Greeley unit. Frazier also worked on the armories in Loveland and Burlington. Frazier was born in Denver and studied at Regis College and Columbia University. In 1909 he joined the Denver firm of Baeresson Brothers and then worked with William Ellsworth Fisher. During his time with Fisher he was occasionally loaned to Roeschlaub & Son, working on the Greeley High School for that firm. Frazier also worked on the Isis Theater in Denver. In 1917 he opened his own office in Casper, Wyoming. Following service in World War I, Frazier associated with architect William Stickney of Pueblo and worked on the Pueblo auditorium. In 1919 he received his license and opened his own office in Greeley, which he operated for 28 years. During this period he designed 45 schools in Northern Colorado and the Veterinary Hospital at Colorado State University. He moved to Littleton in 1954 and retired in 1960. Frazier died in 1962. The building had a 50’ X 80’ drill hall on the first floor, as well as offices for the commanding officer and noncommissioned officer and orderly and a 25’ X 30’ stage at the back. The stage included dressing rooms on either side and a kitchen. The kitchen was included so that suppers could be provided on the stage. The second floor included a ladies’ room, a recreation room, and a radio receiver station. The basement had a 30’ X 50’ athletic court, coal and boiler rooms, toilets, and men's’ and women’s showers.