South Commerce Street, Centreville, Queen Annes County
The Centreville Armory is a two story brick structure, executed in Flemish bond, which rests on a full basement. Attached to the rear of this two story main block is a narrower one story drill hall. A modern one-story brick garage has been added at the rear of the drill hall. The front (Commerce Street) facade, oriented to the east, is composed of two-bay side sections which flank a central entrance bay flanked by two-story towers. The side sections are identical, each having two 6/6 sash windows at basement level, two paired casement windows at first floor level, and two paired casement windows at second floor level. All the windows of the side sections are topped by flat brick arches. A band of stone molding crosses the facade above the second floor windows, and four crenelles with stone caps crown each side section. Stone capped buttresses with stone trimmed set-backs correspond to the stone water table. The central entrance bay is marked by slightly projecting two story towers, with casement windows at first and second floor levels. Buttresses with stone trim, as noted for the side sections, flank each of the towers. Centered above the second floor window of each tower is a small stone panel. Above these on a line corresponding with the crenelle tops of the center front, a band of stone molding crosses each tower. Each is then crowned with three crenelles with stone caps, with a small square stone centered under the middle crenelle. At basement level of the southernmost tower is a 6/6 sash window with flat brick arch. Beneath the north tower a brief flight of cement steps with iron railing leads to a brick walled landing in front of the doorway. At center front double doors are recessed 4-5 feet under a segmental arch of stone, surmounted by a stone name plate inscribed "Maryland National Guard."
The Centreville Armory is primarily significant for its association with the reorganization and expansion of the National Guard system in the 20th century. It derives additional significance from its role as a social center for the community, a function it has served continuously since its construction in 1926. Architecturally, the building embodies the distinctive characteristics of its type, including a T-shaped plan with a two-story front "head house" section and a one-story "drill hall" extending to the rear; its facade is detailed to recall Medieval fortifications, with towers flanking the central entrance, crenellated parapets, and ornamental buttresses.