I have read the recent news coverage about the future of the Sheboygan Armory and remember attending games of the Sheboygan Redskins while having the privilege of watching our hometown hero, Ken Suesens.
During high school I went to North-South basketball games. Additionally, I was a guest at some of the Hmong New Year celebrations and paid to hear Bobby Vinton. It rained when I graduated from North High School in 1955 and the ceremony was at the Sheboygan Armory. Although I can honestly state I am emotionally connected to all of those events, it is those that I remember, not the place.
Great memories, I’m sure, yet, without “the place” there are no memories, just as your grandchildren have no memories from the Armory, a building that has, and can continue to provide a venue for memory making events well into the future. It’s sad that you don’t remember the perfectly polished hardwood floor, or some of the most beautiful natural lightning ever seen by man. Yet, we all remember things in our own way. Maybe it was that pure audio dynamite, or that special person we met, memories can be as subtle as a whisper.
The Sheboygan Armory is about 70 years old and suffering from the ravages of age and insufficient maintenance by its owner, the City of Sheboygan, because of no justifiable reason to do so. It was built as a Work Progress Administration project before the Second World War and is not architecturally attractive. Other examples of his style of architecture in presently occupied buildings are our courthouse and the post office.
The Armory is as old as it feels, knock on the walls, jump on the floors, they feel like new, look like new, the City of Sheboygan has been perpetuating the myth of the Armory’s decay since the late sixties. It was barely 30 at the time, in architectural years, it was, and is a child. Many memories later, the Sheboygan Economic Development Corporation, now the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation, saw the promise of this child and developed a campaign for the future of Sheboygan, Spaceport Sheboygan, that held at its core, the Armory.