Submitted by ub on Thu, 08/23/2012 - 07:33

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., New York Rangers Legend Mark Messier and Olympic Gold Medalist Sarah Hughes, together with other elected officials and union leaders including RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum, City Council Member G. Oliver Koppell, State Senator Gustavo Rivera and Assemblyman Jose Rivera are making a major announcement concerning the future redevelopment of the Kingsbridge Armory.

The Armory, also known as the Eighth Regiment Armory, is located on West Kingsbridge Road in The Bronx. It was built in the 1910s, from a design by the firm of then-state architect Lewis Pilcher to house the National Guard's Eighth Coastal Artillery Regiment unit which relocated from Manhattan in 1917. It is possibly the largest armory in the world.

In addition to its military function, it has been used over the years for exhibitions, boxing matches, and a film set. After World War II the city offered it to the United Nations as a temporary meeting place. In 1974 it was designated a city landmark, and eight years later it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its military use ended and it was turned over to city management in 1996. Since then it has remained vacant as various proposals to redevelop it have failed, including one which turned into a flashpoint over living wage policies and ended in a rare defeat for the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg. One National Guard unit has continued to use an annex in the rear until a new headquarters can be found

Both Messier and Hughes are partners in the Kingsbridge National Ice Center (KNIC) proposal. The KNIC proposal would transform the virtually abandoned Kingsbridge Armory into a world-class ice sports center, featuring nine ice rinks and a 5,000 seat showcase arena, among other amenities... What do you think of this cool idea?