605 N Main St Rockford IL United States 61103
The Illinois National Guard Armory in Rockford, Illinois, is located at 605 Main St. and served as the headquarters for Illinois National Guard units of various designations for nearly 60 years. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.The armory has also been used for concerts.HistoryThe road to the construction of the Illinois National Guard Armory in Rockford began in 1934 with the selection of a site and architects for the project. With Bradley & Bradley signed on as architects and Sjostrom & Sons contracted for construction the project began in 1936. The firm of Benson Stone created unique stonework for the building's facade. The building was dedicated in 1937. Throughout WWII and on into the Cold War the Illinois National Guard occupied the facility. By 1941 the armory had seen its one millionth visitor.In 1987 the State of Illinois designated the armory for repairs and allocated $490,000 for a new roof, wall repairs, window and door repairs, and other pertinent repair work. Those repairs happened in 1989 and the armory was up to code for the 404th Chemical Brigade to occupy the facility in 1990. The 404th was activated on June 23, 1990 as the only Chemical Brigade in the Army National Guard force structure. The 404th stayed at the armory until March 1, 1993 when the National Guard abandoned the Rockford armory and moved into the new Machesney Park Armory. With the National Guard gone the art deco building stood empty and open to new owners. Right after the Guard moved out Illinois Governor Jim Edgar blocked the sale of the armory to a Chicago investor, Ken Goldberg. Goldberg had offered $61,000 for the property but Edgar cited building code violations on Goldberg's other properties as rationale for blocking the deal.