Blog of the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office


Scranton (Watres) Armory


  1. Tom Langan

    I was born and raised in this neighborhood 72 years ago (1941). The Watres Armory was used for community events in addition to the 109th headquarters. Does anyone have a list of the type of events?

    • richard mchugh

      Basketball, roller skating, JFK rally 1960. Harry P. O’Neill, the late congressman, had the concession there.

  2. Tom Langan

    Thanks for jarring my memory. In addition to the items you mention (Basketball, roller skating, JFK rally 1960), I remember annual “Home Shows” and volley ball tournaments. I was in the Navy in 1960, but I’m sure my family would have attended the JFK rally. Thanks again.

  3. stronginva

    In the 40s the University of Scranton used to play basketball games there. I know this because I went to Georgetown and their old schedules list several games with Scranton at the Armory. The Armory was built in 1900-01. How much we don’t know! I attended a rally for Bill Scranton there in the early 60s, at which Eisenhower spoke. In the first decade, the important composer and pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff played a concert there. His second appearance was at what is now the Mellow Theater.

  4. Chet Kent

    Steppenwolf concert
    Fri Feb 26, 1971
    8th Street Bridge was the opening band

    • frank cigna

      Thanks for nailing down that concert date. That was one of the first concerts I attended. I would have never guessed it was winter I thought it was spring or summer over the years I’ve been searching for documentation when exactly that concert was I’ve been on steppenwolf and Black oak Arkansas sites but never seen documentation. I remember Black oak Arkansas also starting for them apparently 8th Street bridge went on first, it’s hard to remember over a half a century ago to be honest I don’t remember 8th Street bridge but of course I remember Black oak Arkansas and steppenwolf some people say Black oak Arkansas was the best show that night I remember all the shows were great

  5. Nicholas Chorba

    Larry Holmes defeats Lucien Rodriguez to retain the WBC, The Ring, and lineal heavyweight titles, March 27, 1983.

  6. Mim

    A few decades ago, I think Jefferson Starship player there.

  7. Mary Louise Flanagan

    What years was the armory used for roller skating?

    • frank cigna

      I used to go roller skating there many years ago when I was a young teenager, it had to be around 1968-69. I’m pretty sure my mom told me she also went roller skating there when she was a kid. The watrous armory was open for roller skating for many years, if I had to guess I would say from 1940 to 1980. But who knows it could have been open for skating in the 1920s I didn’t read all the reviews so maybe somebody has it listed. I will have to check it out too. I see the watres armory everyday living a block down the road it’s hard to miss. That is one site I never get sick of looking at I could hear the flag blowing in the wind everyday

      • Mary

        Hi! I’m wondering if you have access to any photos of the skating that. used to take place in the Armory Drill Hall! Thanks

  8. bruce a horwitz

    Frank Zappa played there in the summer of ’71. I forget if Flo & Eddie were with him.

  9. Rob Williams

    May I know what the Watres Armory is used for currently?

    thank you,

  10. Doris W HOOD

    I’ve seen Glenn Miller with Tex Beneke and the Modernaires there in the late 1940’s. Also, Stan Kenton. Quite a thrill for an adoring teenager.

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