New York Tattoo Announces Outstanding Venue For 2015 Show

Event News

The New York Tattoo is pleased to announce the venue for the 2015 show will be the historic 69th Armory on Lexington Avenue. The drill hall with 130ft ceilings, and measuring 200ft by 168ft will form an outstanding venue to host the Tattoo.

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The 69th Regiment Armory occupies much of the block bound by 25th and 26th Streets and Lexington and Park Avenues. Like all of the armories built in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the 69th is a highly specialized structure built to serve the National Guard.

Designed by noted architects Hunt & Hunt in 1904-06, the building consists of the two standard elements of armory design: an administration building fronting on Lexington Avenue and a vast drill hall rising behind. Earlier armories had been designed in medieval styles, making use of fortress imagery. The armory is notable as the home of the Fighting 69th, New York City’s only official Irish Regiment.

The 69th Regiment Armory replaced thirty-two tenements and apartment houses, which had occupied the site since the mid-nineteenth century. Land that had been part of the farm of John Watts in the 18th century was divided and sold in the early 19th century as the area developed.

The firm Hunt & Hunt won the competition to design the 69th Armory in 1903. Richard and Joseph Hunt sons of noted architect Richard Morris Hunt formed the firm of Hunt & Hunt in 1901, just a few years before the armory’s competition.

Their father, dean of the American architectural profession through the last half of the 19th century, was the first American architect to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

Hunt & Hunt designs include the two Beaux-Arts houses designed for George U. Vanderbilt at 645 and 647 Fifth Avenue, known as The Marble Twins. Only No. 647, a designated New York City Landmark, survives today.

The great arched drill hall of the 69th Regiment Armory is nearly 130 feet in height. The hall, measuring 200 feet 11½ inches by 168 feet 10 inches, has an arched roof carried by six pairs of three-hinged riveted steel trusses each with a span of 189 feet 8 inches. The innovative feature in the design of the drill hall is the method by which the trusses are carried on the exterior of the hall giving the interior a large clear span of open space.

The 90 foot arch in the east gable wall of the drill hall was the largest brick arch in the country at the time of construction.

Today the 69th Regiment Armory serves its original function as the headquarters of and training center for the National Guard’s “Fighting 69th” and continues to lend its drill hall for exhibition purposes.

On May 6, 1996, the 69th Regiment Armory was entered into listing as a National Historical Landmark.

The New York Tattoo 2015


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