Archive for the ‘New Rochelle Armory in the News’ Category

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A Reader Asks About the Armory

June 5, 2012

Through the “contact us” section of the site, a reader named Jack asks the question “What do you think should be housed inside the Armory that will give back and benefit the community?”.

Great question Jack and thanks for taking the time to visit our site and wanting to learn more about the Armory. The Save Our Armory Committee has always been of the opinion that this building, aside from its historic significance, should house something for everyone. The area known as the drill deck, which is the open floor area under the barrel roof, is approximately 14,000 sq/ft of open floor plan. This lends itself to many venues such as art festivals, trade shows, events for children (sporting, dance troops, poetry readings etc).  There’s room for a distinctive catering facility, museum (did you know that while we all have heard of Norman Rockwell, that during the same time New Rochelle was the hub of just about every great illustrator in the country?** Most belonging to the New Rochelle Arts Council). Of course a Veterans support center would be fitting as more and more troops return home needing a single clearing house for access to services. Why you can even have programming as varied as from special olympic events to Green Technology trade shows. All of this programming does something that no amount of housing can ever do, it engages the community and brings us together to celebrate not only what we do here in New Rochelle, but it does it in a place that is as much a part of our culture as no other building in New Rochelle. We will never  have a place as distinctive both architecturally and historical as this icon in New Rochelle. So let’s take the opportunity in front of us and make it a reality. Please take a moment to read these articles ;

Have You Been to These Venues Lately?

The New Rochelle Armory – Preservation for Fun and Profit

The New Rochelle Armory – Can You Answer This Question?

Lamenting Our Loss – There Are No Do Overs

Again, Thank You for your interest and consider being part of the vision and remember:

It’s YOUR Armory

**Harold Anderson, Franklin Booth, George Brehm, Worth Brehm, Clare Briggs, Nell Brinkley, Daniel Content, Dean Cornwell, John Philip Falter, Victor Clyde Forsythe, Walter Beach Humphrey, F.X. Leyendecker, J.C. Leyendecker, Tom Lovell, Orson Byron Lowell, Al Parker, Edward Penfield, C. Coles Phillips, Frederic Remington, Mead Schaeffer, Remington Schuyler, Donald Teague, George T. Tobin, Edmund F. Ward, and Revere Wistefuff.

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Save The Armory – Save New Rochelle

June 4, 2012

 

New Rochelle Armory

Shaping Our Future By Preserving the Past

It rises up from its knoll to command its surroundings. A veritable fortress of pre-war brick and vintage architecture, this depression era icon is a dedication to the American Spirit.   The vast, truss-framed barrel roof has provided shelter to generations of soldiers and families. The vaulted wall of arch top windows at either end forge the daily sunshine into shafts of light that dance across a prairie sized floor.  Tinker, tailor, soldier, and sports heroes alike have all shared that sunshine in the once vibrant and community-centered facility. Sending young soldiers off to war, sporting events and the arts have woven the fabric of New Rochelle’s “Rich History”. This building is ready to breathe life back into the City but it needs YOUR help, NOW !

“But what can I do?”– It’s the most common question asked and yet it’s the easiest to answer. Get involved!

  • Ø Come to our next meeting. Thursday, June 7th at the American Legion Post 8, 112 North Ave. New Rochelle at 7:30 P.M.
  • Ø Visit our website and sign up for our newsletter, learn about the Armory’s rich and distinguished history
  • Join the Save Our Armory Committee as we shape the future. Volunteers are needed at all levels such as fundraising, technical support and canvassing.

Every great journey begins with the first step. Your first step.

http://www.newrochellearmory.com        www.newrochellearmory.org

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Welcome to the New Rochelle Armory

May 27, 2012

Welcome and thank you for visiting our site, your site. Without doubt, the Armory belongs to all of New Rochelle and its many fine citizens. The Save Our Armory Committee is currently putting together a business plan as a response to the recent City- issued Request for Proposals (RFP). It is our hope that our plan will persuade the Council that we have the best interest if the City in mind. We will show how a properly planned, revitalized Armory will be the stimulus for a new chapter of economic growth, community enrichment and showcase highlighting the best of what New Rochelle has to offer.   We have a lot to be proud of right here in this fine city. As the signpost at Eastchester Road proclaims, “Rich in History”. Let’s capitalize on this, celebrate this, as we move forward with a vision of  New Rochelle  that exceeds its expectations. So join us here at the Save Our Armory Committee in bringing that vision into a reality. Come to our meetings (NEXT ONE IS THURSDAY, MAY 31ST AT 7:30PM IN THE POST LEGION HALL 112 NORTH AVE, NEW ROCHELLE) and see the plan unfold. Contact your elected officials and tell them this  is the way to go. Most of all, get involved with us and spread the word about the benefits to the city this plan will bring.

While you’re here, catch up on the events that lead us to the current success. Click on ” search by categories” > ” New Rochelle Armory in the News” and see the story of our first proposal to the city. We believe as you learn more and more about the Armory and its history you won’t need us to convince you. It speaks for itself.( If you have questions do not hesitate to contact us through the “contact us” section of this site)

So welcome again, read up, get involved, but most of all Thank You.

Keep in mind

IT’S YOUR ARMORY !

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Bi-partisan Victory New Rochelle Armory

April 18, 2012
Post Card of the New Rochelle Armory ca.1930's

Pristine and Ready for Service to the Community and the World

In a stunning 7-0 vote, the New Rochelle City Council voted tonight to approve a re-stated Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to developer Forest City Residential. Coupled and running concurrently with the MOU will be the city’s issuance of a Request for Proposal (RFP) seeking options for the adaptive re-use of the Armory. This essentially places the historic building into the mix as a major player in the overall scheme for development of the Echo Bay waterfront.

The surprising vote was the result of Council’s last-minute “tweaking” of the latest version of the MOU. Under the revised plan, the time frame for coming back to the table has been shortened from 18 months to 8 months. This will give  City Council the opportunity to  review the proposals for the Armory, Echo Bay and the plans for the city yard at Beechmont side by side offering a view of how the various components will relate to each other. One of the fundamental sticking points was in keeping the Armory building and its property intact. Originally, Forest City was planning to destroy the Armory to make way for housing. Subsequent plans by the developer had envisioned cutting off the “annex” part of the Armory and taking over the property behind the Armory. Under pressure from Councilman Hyden and others, the plan now calls for separating the Armory and its property from the development envelope so as to allow interested parties to have a feasible parcel to work with in the new Armory design.

We salute Council for working together in the interest of the City and realizing the significance of this historical building. As reported in an article from Talk of the Sound , “This is a win for everybody,” said Ron Tocci, co-chair of the Save Our Armory Committee. “It shows its possible to have bipartisan agreement for the good of the City.” . This is a monumental step in the right direction. We’ve gone from the city’s outright refusal to co-operate with restoration efforts to  actively participating in the discussion to explore the potential. It’s a win-win for everyone, especially the residents of New Rochelle. The Save Our Armory Committee would like to thank the bi-partisan support in making this first step possible. Cooperation at this level is fundamental to bringing about the support needed to allow this historic icon to return to service. Service to the community, remembering the sacrifices of our Veterans and reinforcing our commitment to preserving history to help shape our future.

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County Legislator Maisano Offers Support for Armory Re-use

March 14, 2012

Long time supporter of the Armory, County Legislator Jim Maisano, expressed his concerns to the City Council in his letter of record for the latest council meeting. Support continues to grow as more and more people begin to realize the potential that exists in our own back yard. We hope you join with Mr. Maisano and the rest of the supporters to help make the vision become a reality. All of New Rochelle benefits when we work together.

Mr. Maisano isn’t the only one who understands the importance of  how the Armory was transfered to the City . The subsequent  letter from the New York State Office of General Services has offered an explanation of the terms of the transfer. The proposals for Echo Bay have consistently failed to allow compliance with the spirit and intent of the law.

We thank you for your support and for the clarification.

Legislator Maisano letter to City Council

NYS Office of General Services Description of Deed Covenant page 1

NYS Office of General Services Description of Deed Covenant page 2

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As the Neglect Continues, So Does the Damage to the New Rochelle Armory

March 9, 2012

New Rochelle Armory Damage From Leaking Roof

As the neglect continues, so too, the damage. Years of leaking through the roof has left us with damages to the one of a kind murals and floor buckling inside the building. As it continues, you can see the damage as it progresses through the walls. Look at the wall above the anchor on the left. This picture was taken in November of 2011. The white residue is called efflorescence. It is the result of water permeating through the brickwork as it travels through the leaks in the roof. How long can we let this go on? As you drive by , you’ll see this manifestation on both sides of the facade. It has developed over time as the roof continues to be neglected. Now look at the photo below. It was taken in August of 2010. There is a ladder against the building between the two men standing in the foreground. This is the exact spot that now exhibits the results of the neglect. This is not acceptable by any means. How long can we just sit back and watch this continue?. A fine representation of New Rochelle to those who drive by on Main Street.

 

New Rochelle Armory 08/2010

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Local Groups Push for Meeting With City to Preserve New Rochelle Armory

February 22, 2012

Post Card of the New Rochelle Armory ca.1930's

For the second time in as many years, representatives of Veteran’s groups, Save Our Armory Committee, and concerned citizens are formally requesting to meet with the City Council and the Mayor. A new vision for the Echo Bay area that includes taking advantage of an adaptive re-use of the historical structure will be presented for consideration. With time running out on the extension of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) handed to Forest City/Ratner Developers, proponents of Armory re-use contend that now is the time to rethink the possibilities. At the heart of the new vision is the expectation to return the Armory to its original purpose of serving the public good. To that end, the Armory supporters will be requesting a one year MOU with New Rochelle for the purpose of establishing financing and development services.

After the first extension of the MOU, Forest City presented a plan that was not well received by council for its greatly scaled back vision and lack of commitment from the developer to pursue the development of the entire 26 acres that comprise the Echo Bay waterfront. Subsequently a 60 day extension was granted to buy time for the developer to reinforce their position.

Allowing the MOU extension to expire would serve the city well in two distinct ways. First it would allow the city to actively entertain alternative plans for the Armory and secondly, it would open up the waterfront acreage to a more competitive climate thereby giving the city new options.

Read the request and more by clicking the link below:

New Rochelle Veterans Request Meeting with City Council on Armory

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New Rochelle Armory Nominated for Heritage Award

January 10, 2012

The City of New Rochelle is accepting nominations for the 2012 Heritage Awards. To that end, we at the Save Our Armory Committee are proud to nominate the Armory for the City’s consideration. We do this on behalf of all the supporters/residents who have chosen to keep this historical building in the public discussion. Our goal is to return this building to the public domain and allow this unique possession to continue its service to the citizens of this city. To acknowledge the rich heritage and history of our city we need to be vigilant in our effort to preserve the past as we build our future. The Heritage Award is just one more step in raising our collective awareness and keeping this issue in the public discussion. To quote the Mayor, “By raising public awareness about our past, we help ensure that historic charm remains a vital part of our future. The Heritage Awards assist in accomplishing this goal by celebrating distinctive properties that reflect New Rochelle’s rich architectural history”. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

The application requests the owner of the property to submit the forms. As it is “city owned”, I would make the case that we the citizens are the owners. We are “the city”. You can read the application and details by clicking on the links below.

Heritage Award Application

Heritage Award Application Detail Page 1

Heritage Award ApplicationDetail Page 2

Heritage Award ApplicationDetail Page 3

We will announce the decision by the Mayor and City Council as soon as we are informed. Stay tuned and remember

IT’S YOUR  ARMORY – USE IT DON’T LOSE IT !

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UPDATE:New Rochelle Armory Group Demands City Drop Forest City Rattner, Give Land Deal to Local Groups Linked with Military Veterans

February 19, 2011

As a follow-up to the presentation given to city council regarding the potential for the Armory, the group, once again, requests  the opportunity to move forward with the restoration and utilization of New Rochelle’s history. Forest City, the current developer has caved under pressure from the residents and attempted to provide a vague and ambiguous presentation that attempts to placate the bare minimum in order to force through an extension to their Memorandum of Understanding.  This allows  Forest City to shut out all competition from moving forward with a plan that makes sense for the city rather than lining the pockets of the developer.

(reprint courtesy of  Talk of the Sound)

New Rochelle Armory Sketch

A former New York State Assemblyman from New Rochelle is calling on the City of New Rochelle to halt negotiations with Forest City Rattner for a further extension of a Memorandum of Understanding which expired last month. Ronald C. Tocci, writing on behalf of all Veterans Service Organizations, the Save Our Armory Committee, and concerned citizens, wants the City to instead extend a one year Memorandum of Understanding to local groups represented by Tocci.

Tocci served as New York State Commissioner for Veterans Affairs from 2005 to 2007.

“We are formally requesting the opportunity to meet with Council to present our plans regarding the preservation and restoration of the New Rochelle Naval Armory building and property,” said Tocci.

Tocci was part of the team that gave a presentation to the City Council last July on a plan for an adaptive reuse of the Armory building.

Tocci said “We believe it is both appropriate and deserving to have this opportunity to show what our Organization can do for the public good of New Rochelle”.

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New Rochelle Armory Site Reaches 4000 Hits

February 16, 2011
Post Card of the New Rochelle Armory ca.1930's

Pristine and Ready for Service to the Community and the World

Thanks to all who take the time to care. Through the ups and downs we stand together to bring awareness to those who have yet to realize the jewel already in our possession. Thanks to YOU, we have convinced Forest City that saving the Armory IS fundamental to this city’s history. The next step is to demonstrate that the building would be best left to those who really care, not a developer who caves in in an effort to save their own project. Stay tuned and stay involved. Thanks again and remember-

ITS’ YOUR ARMORYUSE IT DON’T LOSE IT!

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