How large is Quarters One on Arsenal Island?

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When Brevet Brigadier General Thomas J. Rodman came to Rock Island Arsenal, he redesigned the arsenal on a grand scale. For his contributions as second commanding officer from 1865 to 1871, Rodman is known as “The Father of Rock Island Arsenal.”

He developed a plan for the primary arsenal buildings called the "ten stone shops" and designed living quarters for himself and his military assistants.

Quarters One was designed as the residence for the highest ranking officer and as a guest house for distinguished visitors. This limestone Italianate structure features a four-story observation tower. It was built in 18 months, from May of 1870 to October of 1871.

Although the residence was not completed before Rodman died on June 7, 1871, his funeral was held in the nearly finished structure.

The home has 20,000 square feet of floor space divided into over 50 rooms. Features include inlaid oak and walnut flooring, plaster cornice moldings and ceiling medallions, a three-story entry hall beneath a skylight and Italian marble fireplaces. For its time, the house also included modern features such as indoor bathrooms, closets and gas lighting.

Quarters One is considered the second-largest single-family government residence after the White House. It was the home of the commanding officer of Rock Island Arsenal from 1872 to 1955. From 1955 to 2008, it was the home of the commanding general of the senior mission command headquartered at Rock Island Arsenal. It is no longer used as a residence.

Distinguished visitors to the home included General William T. Sherman, General Philip Sheridan, Secretary of War William H. Taft, Lieutenant Colonel Dwight D. Eisenhower, and General of the Army, John J. Pershing. On August 19, 1927, famed aviator Charles Lindbergh spent the night during a stop on a cross-country tour to promote commercial aviation.


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