The First Regiment Armory on Sussex Avenue and Jay Street

This Armory was Newark’s convention center before such a word had been coined. Everything happened in that building. The Newark Auto Show was held there, an opera night in honor of Newark’s 250th anniversary, in 1916, was held there, political rallies- including one for Kennedy which Frank Sinatra appeared, were held there. Golden Glove bouts were held there. Local school marching bands practiced there. So much happened there that I will update this post as I learn more about the building.

The two post cards in this blog show the interior riding arena actually being used for that purpose and the second shows the Sussex Avenue façade. I’m still trying to figure out why this was demolished and replaced by a long care nursing facility.IMG_3074IMG_3076

7 thoughts on “The First Regiment Armory on Sussex Avenue and Jay Street

  1. Many varying events were held at this armory. In the 1950s and into the 1960s I know indoor track meets were held; drum corps such as Hawthorne Caballeros, Newark’s Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights, Newark’s St. Lucy’s Cadets, Newark’s Washington Carver Gay Blades and the Newark Woodsiders practiced there, and some indoor drum corps contests were held there, as well. Sports events were staged there comparable to today’s WWA wrestling events featuring the likes of Bruno Sammartino, Haystack Calhoun and other notables in that industry.

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      1. We had drill practices there on Sunday afternoons when I marched with the Imperial Lancers from St. Rose’s. Across the street on the diagonal corner was a tavern (Marinelli’s?) where they’d serve all us delinquent teenagers.

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  2. We had drill practices there on Sunday afternoons when I marched with the Imperial Lancers from St. Rose’s. Across the street on the diagonal corner was a tavern (Marinelli’s?) where they’d serve all us delinquent teenagers.

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  3. My mom lived in this Armory. Her father, Jack McDonnell was the “armorer” and had an apt. for his family’s use. Due to the depression he had lost his home in Morristown and took the job in Newark. I can’t remember what year they moved there (in the 40’s, I think), but my mom was a teenager when she met my dad who was in the National Guard in 1952. They got married in ’55 and lived there in the apt. with her father until they were expecting their 4th child. They moved to the suburbs in 1961. My sisters vaguely remember a swing set on the roof. My mom said her living room window looked down on the “ring” (kind of a like a skybox) and she saw lots of musical acts and circuses, etc. She said she learned to drive using the National Guard jeeps. We’ve gone past the site (where the senior housing is). She said that she loved growing up in Newark in the 40’s/50’s.

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    1. Marvelous . When people , such as yourself, share their stories I feel this blog has done what it was intended to do which is to provide a forum for memories such as yours. Thank you.

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