Squadron A Armory

1339 Madison Avenue
John R. Thomas, 1895
Park Avenue side: Morris Ketchum, 1969
Madison Avenue façade: NYC IL, NR-P, NR-D

In 1884, a group of gentlemen horseback riders formed the “First New York Hussars” or “First Dragoons,” and by 1889, its 53 members became Troop “A.” By 1895, the group became Squadron “A,” and served in the Spanish American War and in World War I as the 105th Machine Gun Battalion. The armory was built for Squadron A and, true to its roots, included roughly 100 horse stalls. At one time encompassing the entire block, the building was partially demolished in the 1960s. The Madison Avenue side was saved by an emergency action by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which designated it a city landmark. This façade is notable for its two large crenellated towers. The Park Avenue side was demolished to make way for a school, but was replaced with a building that evokes the original complex, which now houses the Hunter College Elementary and High Schools.