Salem Armory

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  • The Salem Armory was located on the block of Essex and Brown Streets, directly across from the Peabody Essex Museum.
  • The Salem Armory was constructed for the Second Corps of Cadets between 1890 and 1908. In 1890, the Second Corps purchased the home and property of Colonel Francis Peabody. The home was adapted to serve as Cadet headquarters. The drill shed, now occupied by the Salem Visitor Center, was erected at that time. In 1908, the former residence was torn down and replaced with a new head house designed by John C. Spofford. This massive brick and stone castle-like structure had many typical features of Gothic revival armory architecture.
  • The armory was also an important social gathering place for the citizens of Salem. Because the halls in the armories were often the largest halls built in urban areas, they hosted large gatherings. Salem Armory frequently served as a civic function hall, hosting dinner, dances, fairs and other gatherings. Salem's Cadet Band under the director Jean Missaud often played there.
  • In 1982, the head house of the Salem Armory was destroyed by fire. The drill shed survived, and in 1994 it was converted into the Salem Visitor Center, which is operated by the National Park Service. In 2002, the Peabody Essex Museum created Armory Park on the site of the head house.

See Also

  • Vertical File in Salem Collection- Salem Armory
  • Salem Armory National Park Service website
  • Salem Armory Story Salem Web
  • "New tourist center to be a window on Essex County" Boston Sunday Globe, Jun 19, 1994, p. N16
  • "Veterans want to save the armory" Salem Evening News, Apr. 2, 1999, p. A1
  • "Museum won't save the armory" Salem Evening News, Apr. 15, 2000, p.A1
  • "The battle behind the wall; Armory facade a legal maze of conflicting interests" Salem Evening News, Apr. 27, 2000, p. 1
  • "Battle rages over armory in Salem" Boston Sunday Globe, Apr.30, 2000, p. N 1
  • "The Armory wall is history; judge denies bid to halt demolition in Salem, Salem Evening News, May 4, 2000, p. 1
  • "Cultural and economic benefits seen flowing from museum project" Boston Sunday Globe, Dec. 3, 1995, p. N 1