Armory’s Future TBD By Oneontans

Armory’s Future TBD By Oneontans

Following a recent evaluation of the Asa C. Allison, Jr. Municipal Building, located on the corner of Academy Street and Fairview Street in Oneonta and colloquially known as “The Armory” in reference to its initial purpose, the city found it to be underutilized and in need of improvement. Therefore, city officials opted to hear opinions from its residents about the building’s future in a survey released in December.

To participate in the survey, click here:

“It’s an old building that’s showing its age,” said Greg Mattice, Oneonta’s city administrator currently overseeing the project with Kerri Harrington, city clerk.

According to Mattice, the city obtained $45,600.00 from a New York State Community Development Block Grant to “evaluate the condition of the building and identify needed improvements, particularly addressing accessibility and identifying potential utilization of ramps, elevators, and other ADA compliant improvements.” The city contributed an additional $2,400.00.

Project leaders composed a list of potential uses for the building with architecture consultants from Johnson-Schmidt & Associates, a Corning-based company. While acknowledging the success of recreational programs in the building’s gym and the Teen Center program housed in its basement, to which Oneonta has committed $13,500.00 annually, Mattice explained that the city hopes to hear feedback from the community on further uses.

“We didn’t want to leave much off the table, and instead give the community a chance to provide input at the very beginning of the process,” said Mattice.

Any projects involving The Armory using state funding would require review from the State Historic Preservation Office due to the building’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places for its significance in U.S. military and architectural history. Completed in 1905, The Armory was designed by George L. Heins, New York State Architect from 1899 to 1907, for the members of Oneonta’s Company G of the National Guard, according to Oneonta City Historian Mark Simonson. Heins’ most notable design was St. John the Divine Cathedral in Morningside Heights, New York.

Heins’ firm won the bid despite having no cathedral building experience and competing with 59 other proposals in a competition held by the Episcopal Diocese of New York City in 1889. Despite being famously unfinished, St. John the Divine is the sixth largest church by area in the world.

With 437 survey responses from the community as of yet, discussions are underway about the future of the building. To take part in the survey, visit

One thought on “Armory’s Future TBD By Oneontans

  1. Steve

    What a great building, I hope the people of Oneonta come up with a good plan and are able to save it. I work in an Armory in Geneva built in 1892 and added on to in 1905, in the same architectural style, that is still a National Guard Armory, and every visitor comments on the beauty of the building, inside and out. I hope you can save it!!!

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