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Deming Armory
The red-brick front facade of the Deming Armory
Deming Armory in 2009
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Former names State Armory
Alternative names Deming Luna Mimbres Museum
General information
Status Used as a museum
Type Government armory
Architectural style Castellated style
Address 301 South Silver Avenue
Town or city Deming, New Mexico
Country United States
Elevation 4,337 ft (1,322 m)
Current tenants Deming Luna Mimbres Museum
Construction started 1915 (1915)
Completed 1916
Cost US$17,500
Client United States Department of the Army
Owner Luna County Historical Society, Inc. (current)
Dimensions
Other dimensions 50 feet (15 m) across x 132 feet (40 m) deep
Technical details
Floor count 2
Floor area 14,000 sq ft (1,300 m2)
Design and construction
Architect Henry C. Trost
Architecture firm Trost & Trost
Main contractor W. W. Barracks
Deming Armory
Architect Henry C. Trost
NRHP reference No. 83001624
Significant dates
Added to NRHP April 21, 1983

The Deming Armory (formerly known as the State Armory, now also known as the Deming Luna Mimbres Museum) is a historic armory in the United States, located at 301 South Silver Avenue in Deming, Luna County, New Mexico. The building was built for the United States Department of the Army in 1915–16, and is currently being used as the premises for the local museum in Deming. The armory was added to the New Mexico State Register of Cultural Properties in 1978 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

History

The building, designed by architect Henry C. Trost, was originally constructed as a National Guard armory. The building was the first armory to be built after New Mexico became a state in 1912. It was constructed to train soldiers to guard the border with Mexico during the ongoing Mexican Revolution.

The armory served the New Mexico National Guard for 60 years. The building housed a chapter of the USO during World War II, in support of the men training at Deming Army Airfield. During the years that the building served as a military facility, it was also used as a community center for hosting dances, basketball games and other local events.

Two events in 1976 contributed towards the launch of a campaign to acquire the Deming Armory as new premises for the town's museum. First, the National Guard vacated the building and moved to a new facility on the south side of Deming. Second, a local businessman, Hubert Ruebush, offered to donate his mother's old electric washing machine, the first such washer in Deming, to the museum. When Ruebush learned that the museum could not accommodate the washer in its cramped facilities, he donated $6000 to acquire the armory on the condition that his donation be matched through local fundraising. Ruebush's condition was quickly satisfied, and a delegation from Deming subsequently negotiated a selling price of $11,500 for the building with the State Armory Board in Santa Fe.

Architecture

The Deming Armory is an imposing red-brick building, two stories in height and resting on a raised basement. It comprises three bays along the front elevation, with a depth of nine bays, and pilasters divide the side elevations. The facade is characterized by decorative brickwork, concrete detailing, and a large central arch leading to double-leaf doors. The walls of the building are 13 inches (330 mm) thick.

Deming Luna Mimbres Museum

The Deming Luna Mimbres Museum, also known as the Deming Luna County Museum, is operated by the Luna County Historical Society. The museum's exhibits focus on the everyday lives and history of area residents. Collections include Mimbres pottery, dolls and toys, glass, china, crystal, teapots, silver, copper and Depression glass, and saddles and ranching equipment. Other exhibits include period rooms, furniture, paintings, tools, clothes, Native American artifacts, gems and geodes, weapons, war memorabilia, vehicles and farm equipment.

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