Detroit Naval Armory, photo submitted 1994. Detroit Naval Armory, photo submitted 1994. Detroit Naval Armory, photo submitted 1994. Detroit Naval Armory, photo submitted 1994. Detroit Naval Armory, photo submitted 1994.
Click above images to enlarge

Detroit Naval Armory
7600Jefferson Avenue, Detroit - Wayne County
Other Names R. Thornton Brodhead Naval Armory
Property Type stone building
Historic Use DEFENSE/arms storage
Current Use DEFENSE/arms storage
Style Moderne
Architect/Builder Stratton and Hyde
Narrative Description The Detroit Naval (Brodhead) Armory is a Modernistic limestone structure at the northeast corner of Gabriel Richard Park on Detroit's riverfront near the Belle Isle Bridge. The building is comprised of four main sections: a vestibule, the main drill hall, an office and penthouse section, and a company drill hall. It contains a large array of Depression-era WPA art, including wood and plaster carvings and murals. Its location is at the intersection of East Jefferson and Baldwin Avenues. Between the front of the building and East Jefferson Avenue is a semicircular driveway and lawn. Centered within the lawn is a flagpole erected in 1943 and a large, white Navy stock anchor, which tradition and photographic evidence support as having come from the USS Yantic, a Civil War gunboat whose hull is buried in a filled-in boat slip in Richard Park. The buildings front facade faces East Jefferson. A fifty-car parking lot runs adjacent to the west side of the drill hall portion of the armory. Another parking area extends from the rear (south) end of the building's fenced vehicle compound to the Detroit River.
Statement of Significance The Detroit Naval Armory (R. Thornton Brodhead) Armory has been a conspicuous reminder of Detroit's sea service heritage since 1930. Located on East Jefferson Avenue on the city's river front, Brodhead Armory has served in countless capacities for the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and their reserve and militia components. This building and its history are significant for several reasons. Influential members of Detroit's Naval Militia community pushed for its creation after having proved the need and value of such a training facility by their service in the Spanish American War and World War I. The armory is Michigan's quintessential example of Art Deco/Modernistic architecture in a military facility. Its expansive drill deck was the site of boxer Joe Louis's first amateur bout. It is also significant for having the largest collection of federally-funded Depression-era artwork of any building in the state.
Period of Significance 1901-1930
Significant Date(s) 1930
Registry Type(s) 04/11/1983 Marker erected
07/01/1994 National Register listed
10/02/1980 State Register listed
Site ID# P3324