Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Woodland 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)

Major F. S. Freeman established the modern city of Woodland as "Yolo City" in 1853. Freeman offered free lots to any settlers who could clear the land and build homes. As with many other California agricultural communities, Woodland benefited from the influx of new residents dissatisfied with their lack of success in the gold fields, as well as the introduction of new irrigation technology. James Moore, an exclusive owner of Cache Creek water rights, developed the first irrigation canal in 1856. In 1861, Major Freeman gained permission to build a federal post office, and Yolo City was renamed Woodland. The following year the Yolo County seat was transferred from Washington (modern West Sacramento) to Woodland, and formal incorporation followed soon thereafter. The railroad service in Woodland played an important role transporting agricultural products to markets and made the passage of goods to local residents more efficient. Warehousing and other industries requiring rail service still operate today.

The Woodland armory was completed on September 7, 1951 as part of the building program designated by a $3 million grant from the State Legislature in 1949 (California Army National Guard 1962). Plans for the armory building at Woodland were approved by the Public Works Board in November of 1949, and two acres of land were leased from the City of Woodland in April of 1950 (California Army National Guard 1950,1952). The armory was remodeled in January 1954, bringing the total cost of the building to $109,587 (California Army National Guard 1962).


The Woodland armory is located centrally on the block, west of Hans Christiansen Park on the south side of Beamer Street. The neighborhood setting around the armory includes baseball fields on both the east and west sides of the property and postwar residential housing to the north, across from the main entrance of the armory. The Woodland armory (Figure 10) appears consistent with CA ARNG standardized building plan type "A" designed by the Office of the California State Architect that prescribed much of the form and style of armory construction since the early 1940s. The Woodland armory is a tall single-story assembly hall with a single-story subordinate wing protruding from the entry facade that wraps around to the full length of the eastern elevation. The Woodland armory is set fairly deep on the open, flat somewhat featureless property creating the overall impression of a low-slung sweeping building.

The primary form of the armory is the central, high interior, rectangular assembly hall with seven structural bays. The assembly hall is oriented north-south with the low-pitched gable-end roof supported by a clear span steel-frame structural system. The foundation and interior flooring of the armory is a poured-concrete slab that is scored into large rectangular blocks, joined together at various "seams" by brass plates. Walls of the assembly hall are constructed with poured concrete and rise approximately 20 feet to the roofing system.

The windows of the east and west walls of the assembly hall are located within the top one-third of the wall, and are organized into a ribbon of three six-light, steel-frame, crank-operated awning windows. This pattern of fenestration occurs along all but the northernmost and southernmost bays of the long walls of the assembly hall. The windows of the southern elevation are a centrally located set of three steel-frame horizontal lights set directly above a metal roll-up vehicle door. The windows of the north elevation are a similar steel-frame, horizontal six-light arrangement, located centrally above the four steel-frame wooden pedestrian doors. Additional double steel entry doors are also present along the south wall in the eastern and western corners of the assembly hall. An assortment of wood and steel, vault, and office doors occur along the eastern elevation, allowing access to the single-story subordinate wing.

The single-story rectangular subordinate wing extends out beyond the entry doors on the facade and continues around the corner running the full length of the eastern elevation. The single-story wing is a concrete wall with a wood-framed, low-pitched shed roof with boxed eaves on both the north and east elevations. There are five two-light steel-frame awning windows at the southern section of the wing immediately below the overhanging eaves, and 10 similar windows located at the northern end. The wraparound wing houses the flagstone paved entry foyer, which has a flush wood ceiling with recessed ceiling lights and a ribbon of three two-light fixed windows on the eastern wall and eight steel-frame two-light windows across the facade.

Immediately adjacent to the western elevation is the armory parking lot that is fenced and gated at the south end of the assembly hall to enclose the armory vehicle yard. The yard itself is fairly open and contains a variety of Army trucks and vehicles in addition to several storage sheds. Overall, the Woodland armory is good condition.


The Woodland armory meets the definition of a significant resource type under Criterion C for its association with the CA ARNG's post-World War II standardized-plan type of construction. The armory also retains its integrity, and therefore is eligible for listing in the NRHP.

The Woodland armory was funded in 1949 as part of the $3 million campaign to establish efficient facilities that could meet the needs of the larger and more extensively equipped CA ARNG units of the post-World War II period. The modern, efficient standardized plans and new guidelines for siting armories reflected a significant shift in how the CA ARNG used its armories and how the armories interacted with the surrounding community. The Woodland armory follows the Type A plan designed by the Office of the California State Architect and was sited in a park within a suburban neighborhood. The armory was completed in 1951 and has been in use as a CA ARNG armory since that time. The building retains its integrity of location, setting, design, materials, feeling, and association. Because the building is a significant resource type and it retains its integrity, it is eligible for listing in the NRHP.
Since this report, the Woodland Armory was turned over to the City of Woodland and razed to make way for a city park.

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Updated 8 February 2016