Monday, January 8, 2018
The Springfield Armory National Historic Site hosted a ceremony this morning to commemorate the transfer of the Armory from the US Army to the National Park Service. Distinguished speakers were Congressman Richard E. Neal, Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army Gerald O’Keefe, NPS Superintendent James Woolsey, Chief Curator of the National Parks Service Stephanie Stephens and Springfield Armory Curator Alex MacKenzie.
When the Springfield Armory closed in 1968, our local community and Congressional delegation recognized its national importance and impact over the previous 174 years as a National Armory founded by then General George Washington.
While unsuccessful in keeping the Armory open, they worked to ensure the Armory's historic and renowned museum stayed in the city, resulting in the authorization of the National Historic Site by act of Congress in 1974. Since then, the National Park Service have been stewards of this incredible museum, which was established here in Springfield by the US Army in 1866, and opened to public visitation in 1871.
With this official transfer, the US Army is making the museum full property of the National Park Service, thus ensuring that the important story of Springfield, the Armory, and our region, is, as the NPS mission states, "preserved unimpaired...for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations."