Rock Island Arsenal

Also known as: Rock Island Arsenal Rodman Plan--Old Stone Buildings, Arsenal
Rock Island in Mississippi River, Rock Island, Illinois


Rock Island Arsenal, Building No. 346

1. Historic American Buildings Survey Joseph Hill, Photographer May 1936 COPY OF OLD PHOTOGRAPH LOANED BY THE COMMANDANT, EARLY PHOTO OF HOUSE DATE UNKNOWN.

Photo from the Historic American Buildings Survey

View photos at Library of Congress



Rock Island Arsenal is one of only two "old-line," nineteenth-century arsenals still in operation for munitions production. Established in 1862 as a military storage and repair depot, the arsenal was designated an ordnance manufacturing facility two years later. For the next thirty years, it produced very little ordnance, concentrating instead on completing its own construction program. In 1895, the arsenal began the manufacture of artillery carriages, which has remained its chief area of specialization to the present time. Since the Korean War, the arsenal has also become a production center for a variety of high-priority, small-lot ordnance items that private industry cannot economically manufacture. Because of its cohesive architectural styling and tremendous contribution to American ordnance development and manufacture, Rock Island Arsenal was designated a National Register Historic District in 1969. -- Historic American Engineering Record (HAER IL-20)

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on September 30, 1969
Reference number
Architectural styles
Mid 19th Century Revival: Exotic Revival; Victorian: Italianate
Areas of significance
Industry; Archeology - Prehistoric; Archeology - Aboriginal; Military; Engineering; Transportation; Exploration/Settlement; Science; Invention
Levels of significance
National; Local
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction; B - Person; D - Information Potential
Property type
Historic functions
Military facility; Cemetery; Fortification; Rail-related; Battle site; Arms storage
Current functions
Military facility; Museum; Cemetery; Rail-related; Arms storage
Periods of significance
1499-1000 AD; 1900-1924; 1875-1899; 1850-1874; 1800-1824; 1825-1849; 1925-1949
Significant years
1832; 1833; 1862
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 27
Contributing sites: 7
Contributing objects: 1