A living museum of military architecture, Madison Barracks played a part in every war involving our nation from the War of 1812 to World War II. It is architecturally unique as an early example of a designed military complex and for the rich diversity of its stone and brick buildings. With a sweeping parade ground and wide view of Black River Bay, Madison Barracks forms a National Register Historic District. The complex is the focus of a major renovation project.
Old Stone Row was built by the 2nd U.S. Infantry between 1816-1819 as part of a permanent safeguard against attack from the north. A 40-acre site was selected for twin rows of officers quarters (Stone Row) flanked by perpendicular rows of enlisted men’s quarters, forming an open quadrangle overlooking Black River Bay. It was nearly abandoned in 1877 following a fire which destroyed half of Stone Row. Due to the intervention of Ulysses S. Grant, assigned here after graduating from West Point, Stone Row was rebuilt and the historic post remained active.
The Parade Grounds are part of the remains of the original quadrangle. The 1890’s master plan joined the Parade Grounds with the adjacent Polo Lawn into a sweeping campus that doubled the size of the 7th Filed Artillery in 1922. Madison Barracks became well known for its horse activities. Polo matches attracted spectators on Sunday afternoons and are yet played here on an occasional summer day.
The Stone Tower was constructed in 1892 as part of a new water system for the expanded Barracks. The Romanesque Revival structure resembles a medieval fortification tower, with its rusticated limestone walls, narrow windows, and rooftop observatory. A 55,000 gallon water tank was concealed inside.
Officers Row is a row of five identical brick duplexes built in the mid 1890’s for officers newly stationed at the Barracks.
The Hospital is a superb grey limestone structure built in 1838 in Greek Revival Style. Historic photographs show louvered and panelled shutters and a rooftop widow’s walk. Other notable features include fine Greek Revival doorways, iron balconies, and quoined cornerstone work.
Fort Pike, named for Zebulon M. Pike, defended the northeastern end of Sackets Harbor, and is proposed to become a village park in the near future.