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


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


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



Veterans Career Fairs at the Armory? Why Not? But Until Then….

March 13, 2011


Veterans Career Fair Sponsored by http://www.Milicruit.com

As long as war and conflict wages on around the world, troops will be deployed. Most will find themselves returning home to a world much different from it was before they left . For many, the need for support services will be fundamental in their ability to get their lives back in order. With record unemployment and a stagnant economy as their new enemies, don’t you think we owe it to them to give  a leg up wherever we can? Serving with honor as they trade their youth for a battlefield, aren’t we  obliged to open the door of opportunity for anyone who needs it. They’ve done their duty, it’s time to do ours.

Imagine the lives touched by the Veterans Resource Center , at the Armory. That day will come, but until it happens, the Save Our Armory Committee will continue to support and report on the veterans services we would like to see right here in New Rochelle.

To that end, Milicruit will be holding a virtual career fair for veterans and their spouses the week of March 10 to the 17th. Go to http://www.veteranscareerfair.com and take advantage of the opportunity to connect with recruiters from corporations such as GE, Microsoft, Merk, Pepsi and others. From their site – “To build on the success of past Milicruit virtual career fairs, we have joined forces with MOAA. This event will offer veterans and military spouses an opportunity to meet with dozens of industry leading employers as if in person, but from the comfort and convenience of home.”.

This career fair is being deployed in cooperation with the following organizations. Visit their sites, help serve and support those who have served our Nation.


Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS)

Military Officers Association of America (MOAA)

Hire Heroes USA

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)

Wounded Warrior Project

Student Veterans of America

The Military Channel

We thank you for your service.


Armories – Then and Now

February 20, 2011
Illinois Armory Postcard - Then

The potential of this building has been realized

In this series,  we will begin to look at various armories around the country in an effort to represent how their intrinsic value served as a foundation to link the past with the future. While the actual applications may vary, you’ll start to see a theme of community enrichment on so many levels.

A marvelous structure from both design and engineering standpoints, the Armory now houses the University of Illinois Men’s and Women’s Track and Field events. From the UI Fighting Illini Facilities website : ” When completed the Armory was the largest free-span, no center support system, structure in the world.  The “drill hall” now referred to as the main floor, measures 200 feet by 400 feet with a ceiling height of 98 feet.” * Impressive in its own right.

Intercollegiate athletics, local sports at a national level, just one of the many ways these grand structures continue to weave the fabric of a local society as they unlock the potential of future generations.  97 years of service, generations of students moving on to change the world, setting the example for those who follow. Go ILLINI !

Illinois Armory - present day

A Stellar Example Reinforcing the "Rich in History" Theme


A cluster of mediocre co-ops or a community enrichment facility in a historical setting, what would serve the interest of New Rochelle best? The answer is clear.






* cited from the University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics. For more information or to show your support visit;   http://www.athletics.illinois.edu/facilities/default.htm

Historical postcard courtesy of  US Town Views “The largest town postcard website”.  Visit their site, there’s something for everyone.



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”.


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-



Read Along And Get Involved – You’ll Be Glad You Did

February 16, 2011

On July 20, 2010, representatives of the Save Our Armory Committee presented their vision of how community involvement would put the Armory back in the hands of the public where it belongs. This building sole purpose is to serve its community and it’s shameful that administrations past and present can’t come together to allow this icon to fulfill its potential. Take a look throughout this site and read up on how we got into this mess. then take the time to listen to Committee members put forth their concept on how to save the Armory without burden on the taxpayer. how to return this building to the citizens of New Rochelle.
Below is a partial transcript of that presentation. We hope this motivates you to get involved.
We Thank YOU!

“Vision Statement

So, we begin with a vision, a vision of success, a vision for the next chapter in New Rochelle’s history
And it all happens AT THE ARMORY

The opportunity to revive a structure unique to New Rochelle and its culture. Realizing how local history and indeed world events have been shaped by those who have walked through its doors

A facility, already in our possession, one that few others can even claim to own. We are compelled to take advantage of this resource to honor those who have come before us and provide a platform for those yet to come.
A showcase for the best of what New Rochelle has to offer, be it athletic, arts, our rich history or our untapped future. All in a natural setting that reconnects our city with the majesty of the New Rochelle shoreline.

We will need to ask ourselves – how do we stand out from the crowd rather than behaving like the crowd?

Imagine, if you will, this new facility, living, breathing and dynamic in nature, always something new.

Sparking interest with the public as they ask “What’s going on at the Armory this month?”. Dinner, a show and a moonlit walk along the shore, a championship basketball game, or the reflective experience of the New Rochelle Hometown History museum exhibit. So outstanding other towns will beg the question
Where can we get our OWN Armory?

Imagine the potential going forward as we advance the need to save the environment. The ideal platform to demonstrate the latest in environmental technology. Imagine this all behind a glass wall as we invite young students from all around to witness the practical application of the principles learned in the classroom.
Sparking their young minds and bringing out the best of the best to lead the way towards a better tomorrow

This potential exists, right here, right now, right in our own back yard.

If we can just shift the paradigm to accept this vision , we will find that the goals of reconnecting the waterfront , stimulating growth , preserving history , serving the community , honoring our veterans AND protecting the environment can all be realized by allowing this iconic facility to make ITS contribution.
We need not change the concept of WHAT to do in Echo Bay , we merely need to decide HOW to achieve these goals

This historic icon will provide the catalyst for the continued success in Echo Bay and we invite ALL of our neighbors to join in shaping, what is, the next chapter in New Rochelle’s history.

Thank you so much for your time”



The Cost of Echo Bay? Can Your Back (and Wallet) Take the Strain? Half a Billion and Counting

February 13, 2011
Estimated cost to taxpayers for development

Are these numbers far from the truth?

Following Anthony Galletta’s reporting on the state of affairs in New Rochelle is always an eye opener. His recent debunking of the mayor’s voodoo economic numbers regarding the purported “net benefit” bestowed upon the citizens of this city is a case in point. In Part 1,he points out how the stated benefit from development has apparently grown from a $2 million to a $7.5 million benefit in just 18 months(I wonder if the election year has helped pump up the numbers, or are we really doing that well). In Part 2, he provides a glimpse into the real numbers affecting the cost side of the “net benefit” equation. As usual, well done Anthony!

As we “develop” our way into bankruptcy, I’d like you all to take a look at some of the numbers surrounding the Echo Bay project. Granted, these are my own projected estimates and I’m having a little fun with the invoice above to prove a point, but even a 25% swing would still be a huge burden to place on the backs of the taxpayer. We absolutely need to uncover the total costs involved if there is to be any semblance of an informed decision in what would be New Rochelle’s largest development in history. With residential housing making up most of the Echo Bay project,(remember, the property tax base will be abated in some form) could there really be enough sales tax revenue to offset the costs incurred? How much clothing, pottery, and souvenirs can you actually sell? How in the world could the cultural enrichment provided by adaptive re-use of the Amory be replaced by a stack of mundane apartments?

Strangely enough, the projected cost to the city is about equal to the total cost of the project. As in, we’re footing the bill to let Forest City own the property. After all, a builder builds your house and you pay him to do it, but eventually you own it. We would be paying to build Echo Bay and we will never own one square inch of it. Even the so-called “public space” will forever be owned by the developer.Go figure.


Investing in the Future by Preserving the Past

February 9, 2011
Post Card of the New Rochelle Armory ca.1930's

             Pristine and Ready for Service to the Community and the World                 (photo courtesy of  Bill – Thanks!)

Inspired by the need to provide for the National Defense, this building trained, mustered and sent off countless military groups to defend and protect our interests at home and abroad. Training and drills kept the troops sharp and at the ready for the moment when duty called. That’s just part of the service this iconic building provided to this city and region. Sporting events, dances and performances filled the hall bringing the community together in celebration of the lifestyle our freedom afforded us. She also served in times of tragedy as volunteer efforts rallied to marshal supplies to assist in the days following what would become this generation’s Pearl Harbor as the tragic events of September 11th unfolded before a nation’s eyes. Throughout World War 2, Vietnam, Korea, Desert Storm, and terrorist attacks, this monument to the American spirit stood fast and at the ready to do what she could for a proud society.

Wouldn’t it be shameful on all of us to let this historic monument fade into oblivion in the interest of taxpayer subsidized housing? Wouldn’t the community enrichment provided by historic interpretation, encouragement of the arts and the competition of youth sports be the most sincere form of tribute a grateful society could impart upon future generations. Sparking the minds of our children by showing them the possibilities that lay in front of them. To bring out the best of what New Rochelle has to offer and capture that American spirit again?

Together we can bring back the connections to our rich history, to let future generations know we’ve done all we can to give them their chance to shine.

Stay informed,  stay involved, and most of all, stay the course.

It’s YOUR Armory. Use it!

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