Published: March 4, 2016
HARTFORD, CONN. — On Sunday, March 20, there will be a special tour of the landmark Connecticut State Armory and Arsenal starting at 10 am. The tour is included with the price of admission to the Connecticut Spring Antiques Show which opens at 11 am.
Completed in 1909, the Classic Revival-style building was designed by noted architect Benjamin W. Morris and constructed for a cost of $869,000. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the armory was dedicated by President William Howard Taft before a crowd of 10,000. The exterior of the building is more than a quarter mile in length and the great drill shed covers 1.14 acres.
The armory has served as the headquarters of the Connecticut National Guard and the State Military Department since its completion. It continues to house the offices of the adjutant general and his staff as well as the state’s emergency operations center. In the last 100 years, the armory’s drill shed has seen innumerable expositions, inaugural balls, big name bands, circuses, sporting events and, of course, the Connecticut Spring Antiques Show, which started here in 1973. A sad chapter in the building’s history was in 1944 when the drill shed served as a makeshift morgue for the 169 victims of the Hartford Circus Fire.
The Connecticut Spring Antiques Show benefits the Haddam Historical Society’s educational programming, exhibitions and collections conservation as well as the preservation of the Thankful Arnold House Museum, which is located on the Connecticut Women’s Heritage Trail and has one of the state’s designated Historic Gardens.
Show hours are March 19-20, Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm, Sunday, 11 am to 4 pm.
Tickets are $15. There is free onsite parking.
The Hartford Armory is at 360 Broad Street.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm