The Armory was built in 1903 by George A. Moore to house the Somerville Light Infantry of the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia. For nearly seventy years after that, it also housed the Massachusetts National Guard. For the last thirty years, the building was used for some community events but largely sat vacant until the State of Massachusetts decided to sell the building in 2004.
The historic armory was purchased by Joseph and Nabil Sater, in collaboration with Highland Realty Trust, in April 2004 from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for $2.6 million. Owners of the successful Middle East music club in Central Square and patrons of the arts, the Sater brothers successfully embarked upon a vision to create a community arts center for the City of Somerville. Joined later by partner Alan Carrier, they contracted with Single Speed Design who served as award winning architects for the project.
Since 2004, the Armory has been completely restored and brought up to code. Many of the Armory’s historic elements have been preserved such as the Armory’s drill hall, stairwells, turrets, and other important architectural elements. The repurposed Armory opened its doors as a community arts center in 2008, and Arts at the Armory became the anchor tenant in the building, renting and operating the main hall and Cafe.
The building was acquired by the City of Somerville through eminent domain in June 2021.