Artspace is pleased to announce that the Goffe Street Armory will once again serve as the Alternative Space this year. Formerly home to the governor’s Foot Guard, this fall the armory will be opened to artists from around the state to install their work.
Since the founding of Open Studios, Artspace has secured more than one million square feet of space for artists’ temporary installations. Highlights include The Smoothie Building (2001), the Pirelli Building (2002), the Olin Building (2005), and Hamden Middle School (2006 & 2007), and 2012’s location, the New Haven Register building on Sargent Drive. A monument to New Haven history, the Armory will be one of the largest and most unique locations to host an Alternative Space weekend.
The massive brick armory was commissioned in 1927 and dedicated in 1930. Local dances were held there in the 1950’s and 60’s. Boat and auto shows have also convened on the armory’s colossal parade floor. The building was last used to house two National Guard units and has also been home to the historic New Haven Foot Guard. The Foot Guard’s musical units continued to use the armory to rehearse until 2009 when the building was closed. New plans for the armory are being discussed between the Dixwell community and the city, led by a committee of the New Haven Board of Aldermen. Dreams for the space include a youth center, bowling alley, basketball courts, horseshoe pits, and more.
These are some typical interior spaces in the Armory. The main drill hall will be open for exhibition, as will dozens of side rooms and large corridors that surround it. Many of the side rooms are arranged as office suites, with a large central lobby that open onto individual offices. There are also large halls that will host multiple artists. There are a number of other unique spaces, such as the locker room shown here.