In January, 2007 Armory Studios, LLC announced that it had acquired the San Francisco National Guard Armory and Arsenal located at the corner of 14th and Mission Street.
This 200,000 square foot reproduction Moorish Castle was completed in 1914 and was used as a National Guard facility until 1976. It retains original period details including wainscoting, stone staircases, sweeping corridors, cavernous access to Mission Creek,and a gigantic drill court spanning almost an acre. It served as both a barricade and safety point for officers during rioting in San Francisco in 1934. Though for most of the past 40 years, it has sat vacant, it was used by George Lucas to film the first Star Wars movie.
The Armory was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and has been out of official use since this time. Previous conversion plans throughout the years were met with much community resistance for various reasons including gentrification and broader concerns relating to social and environmental impact. Armory Studios, remaining mindful of these concerns, plans to restore and renovate the Armory to its original splendor, style and beauty.
Armory Studios has leased the drill court portion of the Armory building to The Armory Events Center for the purpose of converting the long dormant Drill Court into a thriving community center for business, educational, sporting, religious, family, entertainment and other community uses and events. The conversion process will include modernization of building systems, hazardous materials removal and a structural upgrade to meet modern seismic codes. Additionally, there are plans to open a local neighborhood bar, The Armory Club, directly opposite the Armory in early 2012.