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Armory Makes Young Preservationists' Top 10 List

The chance for the Armory to find a new use is important to Canonsburg.

The Young Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh has named Canonsburg's Armory to its 2012 list of the Top Ten Best Preservation Opportunities in the Pittsburgh Area.

The Armory is listed as No. 9 on the list.

To be nominated, a building had to possess some historical significance, be a good candidate for revitalization and reuse, and be located in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Washington or Westmoreland counties.

The selection criteria also included being 50 years or older with historical or architectural significance, have significant threats to the site’s integrity, information on how the community been involved in trying to mitigate the threat or deal with this property, and the feasibility of a solution.

The Canonsburg Armory was built in 1938 at a cost of $85,548, funded by the Public Works Administration, according to information provided by Young Preservationists. The architect was George W. Brugger of .

It was constructed for the 108th Hospital, 103rd Medical Regiment of the Pennsylvania National Guard. It is one of seven armories built in Pennsylvania with the drill hall on the floor above the administration section.

Guard units stationed at the armory saw combat action at the Battle of the Bulge during World War II. The lot had been the site of the President's House, erected by Jefferson College about 1842.

The armory was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989. Now closed, threats include vandalism, deterioration, loss in property value, and demolition, according to Young Preservationists.

Downtown Canonsburg, the borough’s Main Street Program, has taken an interest in the building’s sale. Private individuals interested in purchasing the property have gone through the building. There have been suggestions to leave the first floor open (the gymnasium) to use for concerts or wedding receptions.

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