The History of the Hudson Armory

The Hudson Armory, a palatial building with towers and parapet, was built upon the banks of the Assabet River in 1910.

Armory Timeline

The Armory’s Rich History

A close up photograph of the M.V.M. Massachusetts Volunteer Militia carving that remains above the front entrance.
The MVM sign at the entrance of the building remains an echo of the town’s past. Photo credit: Jim DeLuco

1800s: An Origin of Arms

In 1887, Hudson resident Colonel Adelbert Mossman, an American Civil War Union veteran, formed the town's first unit of the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia (MVM): also known as the Hudson Light Brigade. Since then, National Guard units from Hudson have fought and served in the 1916 Pancho Villa Expedition, WWI, WWII, and the Iraq War. 

1910: An Achievement in Architecture

Designed by Boston Architects James E. McLaughlin and John J. Mulcahy to house an entire military unit, the building is a stunning example of early 20th century architecture. The pair also designed armories in Hingham, Natick, and Newton, MA. Two years later, McLaughlin went on to design Fenway Park, America’s most beloved and oldest active ball park.

1910-2000s: A Multi-Pronged Purpose

When originally constructed for the Massachusetts Army National Guard the building included a two-lane bowling alley in the basement, showers, an 80-foot-long indoor rifle shooting range, a mess hall capable of seating 300 people, and a bar for non-commissioned officers (NCOs).

An old photo of Company F21 M.N.G. in front of the Armory building. The photo is dated May 30, 1942

A Building’s Transformation

From Inactivation…

Prior to 2019, The Armory was inactivated as a military facility, acquired by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and used for police and firefighter training. 

…To Re-Imagining

In 2019 the Hudson Cultural Alliance (HCA) spearheaded redevelopment to turn the Armory into an Arts and Cultural Center which was approved by the Hudson Select Board and Town Meeting in 2020.  The Massachusetts Senate in June, 2021, passed an amendment to their 2022 budget allocating $230,000 for the Town of Hudson to purchase this historic building.

In August of 2022 the Town of Hudson officially acquired the building from the State and the HCA took over the lease of the property.

A photograph of the Armory's facade

A Home for the Community

A Community in Collaboration

With enthusiastic support from town leaders and residents, the Town of Hudson has the opportunity to preserve this significant historic asset and repurpose its legacy it for community benefit.

  • Resource for both local and area residents, arts and cultural organizations throughout the region.
  • The hub of a potential cultural district: shows, plays, concerts, and more.
  • This iconic downtown building remains within town control.
  • Millions in direct investment and new commerce in town.
  • More visitors and added revenue for Main Street and surrounding area
A view of the Armory from the driveway approaching the building from the right
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