On November 18, 1980, the Landmarks Preservation Commission held a public hearing on the proposed designation as a Landmark of the 69th Regiment Armory and the proposed designation of the related Landmark Site. The hearing was continued to February 10, 1981. On April 12, 1983, the Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the 69th Regiment Armory an official New York City landmark. Landmarks Site: Borough of Manhattan Tax Map Block 381, Lot 6. The decision was made based on three major considerations: the unique architecture of the building; the building housed the Fighting 69th; and the building was the site for the 1913 Armory Show.
The Sixty-Ninth Regiment Armory occupies much of the block bounded by 25th and 26th Streets and Lexington and Park Avenues. Like all of the armories built in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Sixty-Ninth is a highly specialized structure built to serve as training and marshaling center for the National Guard. Designed by noted architects Hunt& Hunt in 1904-06, the building consists of the two standard elements of armory design: an administration building fronting on Lexington Avenue and a vast drill shed rising behind. Earlier armories had been designed in medieval styles, making use of fortress imagery. The Sixty-Ninth Regiment Armory however, is recognized as the first of this building type to reject the medieval fortress prototype, employing instead a classically inspired design, still military in aspect that is thoroughly expressive of its function. The armory is notable as the home of the Fighting 69th New York City's only official Irish Regiment. It achieved further renown as the site of the legendary Armory Show of 1913 which brought national attention to the newest art forms of modern European and American artists.
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