Perry, Oklahoma Armory
In 1936, the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) completed construction of an armory in Perry, Oklahoma in order to support the equipment storage and training needs of the Perry Unit of the Oklahoma Army National Guard.
In 2011 the Armory was transferred back to the community. The public release that announced the transfer of the Armory from the military to the community points out that “…during the Great Depression, local communities and the State of Oklahoma were unable to fund the construction of… armories….This armory was one of many proposed Oklahoma armories approved for construction by the WPA.”
It goes on to note that “The Perry Armory was one of 51 armories in Oklahoma that were built by the WPA. All of them were designed to look like military castle battlements with the use of parapets, arched entryways, and false towers at the corners. Inside each armory was a central drill hall, a subterranean rifle range under the stage, garages, and administrative offices. The 22,000 square-foot Perry Armory was built in 1936 with Battery C moving into their new facility soon thereafter.”
The Waymarking website for the Armory remarks that “…as with so many examples of WPA construction, the sandstone work is nicely done, even though many of the workers were unskilled. This project provided work for 120 men, and took 90,000 man hours to complete. The armory was built in 1936. A cornerstone on the east elevation reads: “STATE ARMORY / Built by / Works Progress / Administration / 1936 / W.S. Key / State Administrator”. The date “1936” is worked into the stonework on the upper wall. This was home of Battery C of the 158th Field Artillery.”
It also notes that “[o]n the stone pilasters between each of the overhead doors,” there are “[c]ircular stones and triangle pieces…worked into the stonework.” These irregular shapes, evidently, show the individuality that WPA workers managed to express on projects such as this one. The waymarking site refers to such evidence of workers’ individual expression as their way of leaving a “personal mark in history.”
<a href="https://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMWHT0_Armory_Perry_OK">Waymarking: Perry OK Armory </a>
<a href="https://www.deq.state.ok.us/lpdnew/scap/SCAP%20Webpage/Perry/Armory%20Transfer%20Ceremony-Perry-Public%20Release.pdf">Public Release of Transfer of Perry Army National Guard Armory</a>
<a href="https://nr_shpo.okstate.edu/nhrpdfs/88001362.pdf">The National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination (1994, see Page 31 of the Registry nomination)</a>
<a href="https://oli_shpo.okstate.edu/resultquery.aspx?id=18884&pbc=P">Oklahoma Landmarks Inventory (survey report with historical photos)</a>
Project originally submitted by Hamquilter on September 20, 2017.
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