The armory suffered severe damage from fire, neglect, exposure to the elements, and vandalism. In 2002, the armory received a grant under the U.S. Department of the Interior Save America’s Treasures Program. SGH assessed the existing structure and developed a building enclosure rehabilitation and structural stabilization program with plans and specifications in conformance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.
In 2012, the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia undertook renovating the existing two-story armory to house exhibits and functions, as well as constructing a three-story addition with an open lobby, new stair and elevator access, and other support spaces. Highlights of SGH’s structural design include the following:
Strengthening the armory floor framing to accommodate public use
Constructing a masonry bearing wall addition to compliment the armory’s aesthetics and preserve its space for displays
Using hollow-core precast concrete floor planks for the new addition to maintain a thin floor profile, while limiting floor vibrations and sound transmission between levels
Detailing steel framing within the addition’s east wall to create knock-out panels to allow for future expansion