Statement of Significance (as of designation - June 19, 1996):
This formidable brick mass represents a type of building that served in the dual capacity of military facility and social clubhouse for units of the National Guard, particularly the "Fighting 69th," the renowned local unit of the New York National Guard. With roots going back to the American Revolution, this regiment served with distinction during the Civil War, WWI and WWII. It is also nationally significant as the site of the 1913 International Exhibition of Modern Art, the first major exhibition of contemporary art in America, that revolutionized the nation's artistic tastes and perceptions. Some 1,300 works of art were displayed, and here for the first time many Americans saw the works of Cezanne, Van Gogh, Matisse and Picasso.