If you have an interest in military history, Cleveland city history, or some of the oldest architecture and design in the city, then Grays Armory Museum is for you! Grays Armory is one of the oldest standing buildings in Cleveland, opened in 1894 along Bolivar Road. This armory was opened by a private military company that was founded in 1837, by the name of, you guessed it, the Cleveland Grays. The 118 men who started the program went by the motto of ‘semper paratus’, or always prepared, and served as an independent militia service for the area, sort of like the National Guard today, only on a completely volunteer basis. This makes the building ‘America’s oldest independent armory’!
The architecture itself is pretty amazing, a specific Romanesque Revival-style grandiose building with gorgeous brick imposing walls, practically worth the trip for the design details alone! Once inside, however, you and your group may take part in public tours (offered each first wednesday of the month) or schedule your own group/private tour, wellin advance. On your tour you will be able to see different artifacts and pieces of city/Grays memorabilia, as well as see such locally famous items as the Mighty Wurlitzer. The Wurlitzer was used throughout the 1920’s and 1930’s as a silent movie organ, capable of creating the quietest whispers and most floor-shaking rumbles within its musical range!
The armory has hosted some of Cleveland's finest events and people in it’s past, a tradition it keeps up today by hosting several public programs, event days, and festival type shows. Grays saw Cleveland's first Orchestra season within it’s walls, as well as Cleveland’s very irts auto show. Today you can find events like the monthly lecture series, National History Day celebrations, New Year's Eve national toast, and several other various city events depending on the season.