610, Reisterstown Road (MD 140), Pikesville, Baltimore County
The Pikesville Armory, the second oldest in Maryland, lies perpendicular to its driveway, with its long side parallel to Reisterstown Road. Built by the Baltimore architectural firm of Wyatt and Nolting, the main structure is a simple one-story enclosure with tiled gable roof. It has no basement. The foundations and supporting walls are of rough-cut stone; the exterior walls are faced with a smoother, buff-colored field stone. The front façade is oriented to the south, and consists of a half-octagon shaped vestibule projecting from the center of the front wall at ground level. Narrow glass-bricked windows flank the wide double doors of the vestibule, and the doorway is surmounted by a segmental arch of stone. Two cement steps separate the door from the street level. The two bays on either side of the entrance are punctuated by strip buttresses at the corners and between bays. Three windows in the outermost bays and two in the inner bays are filled in with glass bricks. A 1941 photograph of the building façade indicates that these were originally 2/3 casement windows. This section is faced with buff-colored fieldstone to a horizontal line of painted metal trim at the base of the roofline. Above the line of trim, the façade is stuccoed and painted white. The roof pediment over each inner bay contains a rounded-arch window with radially paned fanlight over a stationary paned panel. The window is trimmed with painted metal, and a keystone-shaped ornament tops the arch. A six-foot-high fieldstone fence projects at a right angle to the front façade, on the south side of the vestibule, and connects with modern fencing to seal the rear of the motor compound and garage area. The 1941 photograph shows the façade without wall or fences. Two- and three-story brick additions to the rear (southwest) side contain mess halls and storage areas. The northwest façade (facing Reisterstown Road) is comprised of three sections of four bays each. In each bay are three 2/4 casement windows set just under the roofline. At the innermost edges of the two outer sections are double doors into the drill hall. Half-dome projections resting on stone piers protect the doorways. The façade around the doorways has been trimmed with stuccoed, arch-shaped panels painted white.
The Pikesville 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 its community, a function it has served continuously since its construction date. As Maryland’s second-oldest armory building, constructed in 1903, it does not conform to the standard architectural form which was established in the World War I era; however, it has architectural significance in its own right as a unique design by the prestigious firm of Wyatt and Nolting.