Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Walnut Creek Armory
Walnut Creek Armory
Extract, Final Inventory and Evaluation of National Register of Historic Places Eligibility of California Army National Guard Armories, Sacramento District US Army Corps of Engineers (2002)

The original community known as "The Corners" derived its name from its location at the crossroads of two ancient roads, one of which came from Monterey and Mission San Jose, and the other from San Francisco Bay, over the Oakland Hills. Some of the original establishments in the area (ca. 1850-1870) included a hotel known as the "Walnut Creek House," a blacksmith shop, schoolhouse, and the Walnut Creek Methodist Church- one of the earliest built in the county. In 1860, the community known as "The Corners" was officially named Walnut Creek via the establishment of a United States post office. Soon farming innovations such as new sources of grain and irrigation caused wheat farming to succeed the previously dominant cattle industry.

Transportation networks serving outlying towns such as Walnut Creek proved inadequate and railroad transportation came into demand during its expansion of the late 1880s. Walnut Creek and other agricultural towns in the nearby valleys were finally successful in attracting railroad service in the form of the Southern Pacific, and in June of 1891, service through Walnut Creek was officially inaugurated. 1914 was perhaps the greatest year in the history of Walnut Creek, as the original town and urban additions were incorporated as a municipality on October 21, 1914.
The advent of the automobile, the construction of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in 1930, and the approval of the Broadway Low-Level Tunnel in 1926 marked the demise of rail service in Walnut Creek. The onset and duration of World War II had a negative effect on the population growth of Walnut Creek, but the city was able to initiate many needed public works projects such as the municipal water and sewer systems and the 1946 creation of the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District. During the 1960s, Walnut Creek experienced a population increase to nearly 40,000 citizens within a 14.8-square-mile vicinity. Through the 1970s, Walnut Creek continued to grow and took steps to promote the quality of commercial and residential development in an effort to preserve the environmental and aesthetic quality of the community (Walnut Creek Historical Society n.d.).

The Walnut Creek armory was completed on February 7, 1955, at a cost of $66,700. The building sits on a 2.1-acre parcel (California Army National Guard 1962).


The Walnut Creek armory is located on the eastern edge of the downtown Civic Park. The neighborhood setting around the armory includes residential buildings, a baseball diamond and park facilities, and a canal located to the rear, beyond the fenced vehicle yard. The Walnut Creek armory (Figure 11) appears consistent with CA ARNG standardized building plan type "B" designed by the Office of the California State Architect. The Walnut Creek armory is a tall single-story assembly hall with a single-story subordinate wing projecting from the central entry on the west facade that wraps around to the full length of the northern elevation. An additional single-story wing runs the entire length of the southern elevation. The Walnut Creek armory is set at the top of rise at the end of a street, on a somewhat featureless asphalt paved property, creating the overall impression of an expansive, yet well-grounded building.

The primary form of the armory is the central, high interior, rectangular assembly hall. The assembly hall is oriented east-west with the low-pitched gable-end roof covered with asphaltic shingles. The seven-bay structure consists of a clear-span steel-frame structural system on a concrete slab foundation. The walls of the assembly hall are constructed with poured concrete and rise approximately 20 feet to the roofing system, with a flush roof-wall junction on the exterior. The windows of the northern and southern elevations of the assembly hall are horizontal sets of three, six light, steel-frame, crank-operated awning windows. The five sets per elevation are located in the upper quarter of all but the eastern and westernmost bays. Centered high on the western gable end is a fixed, steel-sash, six-light arrangement of horizontal, blue-tinted glass. The projecting entry is located below these windows and consists of a pair of steel pedestrian doors with similar single doors on both sides of the pair. The eastern elevation has a three-light horizontal window that is centrally placed over a large, metal vehicle roll-up door. A pair of steel pedestrian doors is located on each side of the vehicle door.

Both the southern elevation wing and the entry wraparound wings are single-story, poured-concrete structures with wood-frame, low-pitched shed roofs and boxed overhanging eaves. Attached to the rear of the southern wing and flush with the east elevation is a metal shed with double steel pedestrian doors opening into the vehicle yard. Across the entry is a ribbon of four steel-frame two-light sash windows and two window-mounted air-conditioning units. There are two similar window arrangements along the northern elevation in addition to a set of three two-light awning windows. The southern elevation has a fenestration pattern similar to the northern elevation.

To the rear of the armory is the gated, spacious vehicle yard that encloses a variety of Army vehicles and other miscellaneous equipment. With the exception of degraded insulating material on the ceiling and exfoliating paint across several of the exterior elevations, the Walnut Creek armory is in good condition.


The Walnut Creek armory does not meet the definition of a significant resource type. The armory was funded in 1953 and construction was completed in 1955. Although the armory followed one of the standardized plans and the siting guidelines established in 1947, it was not funded or constructed during the 1948-1954 period of significance. Therefore, the Walnut Creek armory is not eligible for listing in the NRHP.
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Updated 8 February 2016