State Armory (Washington National Guard Building)
Backstory and Context
The Armory building was constructed in the Art Deco/Art Moderne style as a Public Works Administration (PWA) project. The PWA was a large-scale public construction agency created as part of the New Deal of 1933. Like other New Deal programs, the PWA provided employment to encourage the recovery of the American economy in the 1930s. In addition to government buildings like post offices, the PWA financed the construction of dams, schools, airports, and hospitals.
When the Armory opened, it featured a drill floor, supply room, and arms vault with showers and a rifle range in the basement. A 161st infantry company trained at the facility.1