The building was designed by architect Charles Clinton in the Gothic Revival style and dedicated in 1880. The builder was R. L. Darragh and bricklayers were Van Dolson & Arnott. It is one of the two remaining armories in the United States to be built and furnished with private funds. It originally served as the headquarters and administrative building for the 7th New York Militia Regiment, known as the Silk Stocking Regiment due to the disproportionate number of its members who were part of the city’s social elite. The building is known for detailed interior rooms that are furnished with ornamental woodwork, marble and stained glass.