Armory Hall was built in Warren in 1842 with a grant of $1500. that was given to the Warren Artillery Company by the State of Rhode Island for their loyal support during the Dorr’s Rebellion of 1842. The Town of Warren gave an additional $500 for the construction. Russell Warren, a noted Rhode Island 19th century architect reputedly designed the Armory Hall. Its two 18′ tower extensions completed in 1843. Additions were added to the east end and northeast corner of the building in 1874 and 1896.
The Armory is described as being a one-story gable roof, Early Victorian-Gothic Revival, Norman French structure with two hexagonal castellated turrets. The building’s two turrets stand on either side of large arched front doors and were designed to house two Revolutionary War cannon. These cannon, named Pallas and Tantae, were built in Strasbourg, France in 1862 and were also given to the Warren Artillery Company for their support during the Dorr’s Rebellion. This is a large drill hall/public meeting space and stage in the center of the building.
From 1842 through the end of 19th century, Armory Hall was a center for Warren’s civic, social and military activities and events. Notable events included; The Annual Military and Civic Ball, the Ladies Cecilian Concert Company of Portland Maine, the Grecian Art Tableau Company, the Harvard Quartette of Boston and a variety of stage plays including The Scout of the Rappahannock. One of the most famous entertainers to grace the Armory stage was PT Barnum’s original “General Tom Thumb” who sang and danced to a large local audience. The Town of Warren used the building for a variety of meetings including the Annual Town of Warren Financial meeting(until 1894) and the Annual Election of State, Federal and Town Officers. The drill hall was also the site of many roller skating parties!