Historic California Posts, Camps,
Stations and Airfields
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
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
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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