Binghamton State Street Armory
Vintage Images courtesy of Broome County Historical Society
State Street Armory
202-208 State Street, Binghamton, NY
Architect: unknown
New York’s Historic Armories – An Illustrated History, by Nancy L. Todd

The State Street Armory was built in the 1880’s for the Sixth Battery and Twentieth Separate Company. Designed in the Romanesque Revival style with medieval Gothic-inspired features, the armory features crenelated parapets, machicolated cornices and bold corner towers. During their tenure in the State Street Armory, both units helped maintain order along rail lines in Broome and Tioga counties during the Buffalo Switchmen’s Strike of 1892.

The battery and company vacated the State Street facility around 1906 for a new armory on Washington Street. The 1880’s armory was partially altered in 1906 when the building was converted for commercial use.

Work Soon to Begin on Armory Theater
Binghamton Press, April 9, 1906

Max Spiegel, representative of Rush & Weber, said today that the old Armory will probably be turned over to the firm before May 1, and that work on the Armory Theater will be begun as soon as the building has been cleared. “High class vaudeville will be put on. There will be 12 performances each week, two a day, each consisting of eight acts and lasting 1 ½ hours.”

The seating capacity of the Armory Theater will be 1,400. The gallery and balcony will be on the same floor. The patrons will be provided with a large reading and smoking room. The dimensions of the stage will be 70 feet across, and 42 feet deep. Eleven dressing rooms, with hot and cold water, light and ventilation will be provided. There will be 12 boxes. Mr. Spiegel said that it is the intention of the firm to make the Armory Theater one of the best of its kind in the State, equipped with the best facilities, and in every respect up to date.

New Theater with Lights Turned On
It Was Illuminated and Opened for Public Inspection
Binghamton Press, August 25, 1906

The new Armory Theater, with everything almost ready for the opening on Monday evening, was brilliantly illuminated and thrown open for public inspection last evening. The theater has been artistically decorated, so as to give an impression of dainty simplicity and attractive surroundings. The side walls are in pink, the draperies and the chairs being of dark green. The ceilings and balcony front and stage border are in white, with gold decorations. In the ceiling over the orchestra is a beautiful large painting.

The foyer is wide, and with several doors gives an opportunity for easy access and exit. The place is brilliantly lighted with handsome electroliers and side and ceiling lights.

The balcony is reached by stairs leading up from either side inside the theater. The balcony and gallery are on the same incline, the gallery being simply the higher part of the second floor, and extending back over the foyer. The gallery and balcony are separated by a high solid wooden railing, entrance to the gallery being only from the hall. Two handsome boxes open from the first floor at each side and over them are two uncovered balcony boxes on each side.

A number of handsome stage settings have been painted by the same artist who furnished the scenery for the Stone Opera House. The stage is large, and is equipped with all necessary electrical and mechanical devices to facilitate the rapid handling of the scenes and the lighting effects.

Opening of New Theater
Great Performances at “Armory”
Binghamton Press, August 28, 1906

At the opening of the New Armory Theater yesterday the house was packed to the doors at both the afternoon and evening performances, and nearly 1,000 people were turned away in the evening.

LeClaire and Hardt opened the performance with an acrobatic act… The exhibition of clog and eccentric dancing by Thomas and Paine was unique and furnished considerable amusement for the audience… Deltorelli and Glissando gave an exhibition of instrumental music. They were followed by Hymans and McIntyre in “Two Hundred Wives.”… Sidney Dean & Co. presented “Christmas on Blackwell’s Island.” Anna Carman with her well trained horse and troupe of dogs were the next number. The evening’s entertainment was concluded with a presentation of kinetograph pictures.

Binghamton will have a Stag Hotel
New Armory Hostelry, with Rathskeller, is to open on Saturday
Binghamton Press, August 15, 1906

The Armory Stag Hotel, conducted by Calph & Spindler, will open for business on Saturday. Friends of the proprietors are predicting an instantaneous success for the enterprise. There seems to be a need for a hostelry of the kind, combining as it does a stag hotel and rathskeller.

The rathskeller is to be situated in the basement easily reached by stairs leading from the main entrance. The room will be finished in white and gold and will contain 18 tables. The service will be of the best and no doubt the Armory rathskeller will prove an attractive dining place for theatergoers and others, both men and women. There will also be two dining rooms for men and women on the first floor and a private diner also. The two former rooms will be finished in red, gold and white and red, gold and green, respectively. A parlor for the use of women has also been provided.

The new hotel will have 10 first class rooms for the use of male guests. A majority of these rooms have hot and cold water, bath, steam heat, etc., and will be furnished in the best of style. Rates will run from a dollar a day, upwards. Perry Calph, one of the proprietors of the new establishment, was formerly connected with the dining service of the Pullman Company and thoroughly understands catering to the needs of the public. His partner, Charles Spindler, was formerly in charge of the buffet at Hotel Bennett and is widely known for his genial ways.

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Roger Luther - All Rights Reserved