View to the front doors of the Armory
Views from the front door looking into the gym floor
UND Army ROTC battalion crest on a flag over the entry hallway.
Gym wall holding memorabilia from the history of the two programs.
Photo of the Armory from the 1950s
Backstory and Context
The Armory was built on the same grounds in 1919 for the purpose of the Army training programs that were held at the university. During those earlier times it was also used for its gymnasium as well as graduation ceremonies before other facilities were built. From the inception of UNDs Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps program in 1888 until 1973, all men attending the university were also required to attend the course. This time period included the United States involvement from the Spanish-American War to the Vietnam War. Shortly after participation became optional for male students, in 1974, women were allowed into the program with the men. In 1946 the Air Force ROTC program moved in with Army ROTC to this building and both programs continue to operate out of the armory to this date. Last school year the Army ROTC program celebrated its 100 year anniversary in the Armory and all of its accomplishments since then.
The Armory itself first began construction in 1918 with the same red brick material that is seen across campus. The Armory lies on the south side of campus, across from Twamley Hall and right next to the North Dakota Museum of Art, off of Centennial Drive. When walking into the building, you walk through the front doors and down a sloped hallway, passed the administrative offices, that leads you into the gymnasium. The gymnasium itself still holds the same wood floors that had been originally placed there. The floor had been used for different athletic teams as well as ceremonies up until the creation of other buildings such as the Chester Fritz Auditorium and then later the Alerus Center. Across the gym lies a range of things from workout equipment, to training materials, to historical artifacts from the earlier days of both the Army and Air Force ROTC programs. Walking across the gym floor takes you to the classroom areas where ROTC cadets attend their lectures.
While much of the Armory’s personnel and training have changed over the years, the things that have stayed the same are the buildings structures and styles, and its role in developing and training our nation's future leaders.
“History: Army ROTC.” Army ROTC | University of North Dakota, und.edu/student-life/army-rotc/about.html.
“Armory (1918- ), in 1958.” UND Scholarly Commons, commons.und.edu/archive-photos/269/.
Elwyn B. Johnson department of special collections.