Prescott was one of the first towns in Arizona to have a National Guard Unit. Companies B and C of the First Territorial Rifles were organized in Prescott in 1865 and Company M of the First Arizona Infantry was organized in 1910. Company M of the 158th Infantry of the National Guard of Arizona received Federal recognition February 3, 1930. This Company originally used a church on South Montezuma Street as their Armory, but it was described as "totally inadequate".
The Prescott National Guard Armory, one of the largest and most prominent buildings on East Gurley Street, was designed by architect Orville A. Bell and was constructed on land donated to the State of Arizona by the City of Prescott. This was a portion of the property preciously donated to the City by Mr. & Mrs. Charles T. Joslin. A Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.P) project, construction of the Armory was begun on March 5, 1936 and completed in November, 1939. The Armory was designed as a vernacular structure with elements of Richardsonian Romanesque style in the decorative detail. The building is constructed of reinforced concrete with native ashlar granite facing and sandstone trim, red or black extruded mortar joints and a Lamelia truss roof. It was described at the time of completion as "fortress-like".
In July of 1980 the Armory, no longer needed by the Arizona Nation Guard, was deeded to the City of Prescott. Today it is used as a multi-use City Parks and Recreation facility. The Prescott National Guard Armory is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.