PHOTO: When it opened in 1939 and for the next 30 years, Pocatello’s National Guard Armory on South Second Avenue bustled with activity. Guardsmen trained with tanks and armored vehicles, frequently leaving for maneuvers in the hills outside town. But if the walls of the New Deal-era armory could talk, they would tell of dinners and parties, model airplane exhibitions, pro wrestling matches, and rock ‘n’ roll shows.
When it built a new armory near the Pocatello Fairgrounds in 1969, the Guard handed the building over to Idaho State University, which used the facility for its diesel technology program. Today, however, things have come full circle as the armory has entered its third act, as part of ISU’s Disaster Response Complex. As emergency responders from throughout the country come to train, once again the Guard is back.