GIRARD ARMORY: On October 10, 1924, the Armory, which cost $1,342,769 to build was dedicated. The dedication program was both musical and military. The Girard College choir and bands provided the music.
A drill and dress parade was reviewed by Colonel (later General) Robert M. Brookfield, Commandant of the Girard College Battalion and Colonel Marsh Stewart, Commandant of the U. S. Military Academy at West Point.
The Armory served as a multiple use building for the students of Girard! It was the headquarters of the Girard College Battalion where the four military companies, assembled themselves for military training! Each company consisting of about 130 Cadets! All miltary gear - uniforms, rifles, sabers, flags and equipment were stored there.
The Armory was also the center of many sport activities with the exception of swimming! The "big" pool was located in the basement of the High School where swimming competition with other schools were held. The Armory also was the location for varsity sport activites such as basketball, gymnastics, field and track! Intramural sport competition also was played in the Armory by the students of Girard College! Group calisthenics exercises were also done in the Armory! Calisthenics was part of the normal routine of growing up in the "Hum".
The Armory was flanked by two large athletic fields! The one on the West side of the Armory was used for varsity baseball competition with other schools. The East side of the Armory the athletic field was used by students living in Good Friends and Lafayette buildings!
Varsity soccer competition was played on the athletic field behind Founder's Hall. Soccer was the most popular sport activity played by the students of Girard College!
The Armory consisted of three floor levels - the middle one being being the showcase of the Armory! An impressive, huge, and beautiful open room with many basketball courts in it, Just above the main Armory floor was a balcony that circled perimeter of the room with the basketball courts just below it! The balcony served as a continuous running track path = available to the field and track athletes and students who liked to run!
The floor below the main Armory floor consisted of two large rooms where additional basketball courts were available to the students. Tennis, another popular sport activity was also played there, These rooms often used when inclement weather forced students to stay indoors! Weekly group calisthenics exercises were done in these rooms!