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Pennsylvania National Guard to Lease Philadelphia Armory to Drexel
Drexel has entered into a three-year lease agreement with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the Philadelphia Armory, located at 33rd Street and Lancaster Walk. The announcement was made by President Papadakis and Major General William B. Lynch, the Adjutant General of Pennsylvania.
During the three-year agreement, the University and Pennsylvania’s Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs (DMVA) will develop a long-term plan to renovate the Armory into a convocation center and basketball arena for Drexel. Drexel will begin upgrading the Armory concurrently with the relocation of the 103rd engineering battalion to a new base of operations. The National Guard’s recruiting station, headquarters and museum will remain housed in the Armory. The University’s ROTC Task Force Dragon will also remain based at the Armory.
Drexel and the National Guard opened discussions about the Armory’s future in 1998 at the suggestion of Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. The discussions resulted in the formation of a National Guard and Drexel University working team named “Operation Partnership” that finalized the details of the transition agreement.
The three-floor, 21,346-square-foot Armory was designed by Philadelphia architect Philip H. Johnson in 1916. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1991. The renovation will more than double the Armory’s seating capacity.