Photo credit: Susanne Moore , 07/1980

Property Name: Chestertown Armory
Date Listed: 9/25/1985
Inventory No.: K-451
Location: Quaker Neck Road (MD 289), Chestertown, Kent County

Description: The Chestertown Armory is a 2-story brick structure with a full basement. Emulating a medieval fortification, the front (north) facade is composed of two two-bay-wide sections which flank a central entranceway, itself flanked by simple 2-story towers, which are topped by small square stone panels. The side sections contain basement windows and windows on the first and second floor, all casement windows, separated by single strip buttresses. The main block is three bays deep, with similar window arrangement and buttresses. The entry is composed of double doors recessed 3-4 feet under an unpainted stone segmental arch. At second floor level, 4/4 casement windows under a 4-pane horizontal strip are flanked by 2/4 casement windows under 2-pane horizontal strips. The windows are surmounted by a second segmental arch, also unpainted, projecting 1-2 feet in front of the arch over the door. A band of painted stone molding crosses the center and the center top ends slightly above the roofline of the flanking towers. A small square stone panel is centered just under the roofline of the center section. Attached to the rear of the 2-story main block is a narrower one-story drill hall, 7 bays in length, with a pair of casement windows in each bay. Bays are separated by single strip buttresses. A modern one-story brick garage has been added at the rear of the drill hall. Very nearly the entire building has been coated with white paint; details of original brickwork and trim are thereby largely obliterated.

Significance: The Chestertown Armory is primarily significant for its association with the reorganization and expansion of the National Guard system in the 20th century. It derives additional significance from its role as a social center for a community, a function it has served continuously since its construction date. Architecturally, the building embodies the distinctive characteristics of its type, including a T-shaped plan with a two-story front "head house" section and a one-story perpendicular "drill hall" extending to the rear; its facade is detailed to recall Medieval fortifications, with towers flanking the central entrance and strip buttresses. The Chestertown Armory was built in 1931 for Company G, 115th Battalion of the 29th Division of the Maryland National Guard. As part of the 29th Division, the 115th shares honors bestowed upon the group at the close of World War II, among them distinguished unit citations and the French Croix de Guerre with Palm. Various community groups rent the Armory hall for dances and cotillions, local hospital benefits, and other social functions, and the Friends of the Library hold annual trade shows there.




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