Women's Gymnasium

Women's Gymnasium
Avenue J
Map | News | ID#: 0004


1913 Constructed
1960 North addition
1983 Demolished







Women's Gymnasium

While many boys had learned to swim in neighboring creeks and rivers, girls wanted to learn to swim here - the indoor swimming pool inside the women's gymnasium.

Women's Gymnasium

The main entrance to the Women's Gym from the 1937 Alcalde.

Women's Gymnasium

An aerial photograph from the 1950s.

Women's Gymnasium

In 1960 an addition was added to the northern side of the original gymnasium.

Women's Gymnasium

An aerial photograph from the 1970s.

Women's Gymnasium

Students advance and retreat in front of the gymnasium in the late 1970s.

Women's Gymnasium

A photograph from the 1983 Alcalde shows an audience watching the demolition of the Women's Gym.

Women's Gymnasium

The cornerstone of the Women's Gym is now in downtown Huntsville as part of the Sculptural Wall project.

The surface of the stone facing west reads "Physical Education" and gives 1913 as its construction year.

Women's Gymnasium

The cornerstone of the Womens' Gym is now in downtown Huntsville as part of the Sculptural Wall project.

The surface of the stone facing north along Sam Houston Avenue gives the names of the Board of Regents.


[1] Vision Realized, p.74-5 (1970)

The Women's Gymnasium was the fifth permanent building on the Sam Houston Normal Institute campus.

A large, temporarily wooden building that served as a gymnasium was on this site for many years [1]. The site, part of the 12-acre tract of land belonging to A.T. McKinney, was purchased by the state in 1912-13 thereby allowing the college to expand southward.

Built on the eastern side of the quadrangle, the three-story building measured 50-by-92 feet and was constructed of "cream-colored brick and reinforced concrete [and]...decorated with concrete stone faced with marble [1]."

On the ground floor was one of the first indoor swimming pools in east Texas (measuring 34-by-38 feet); it was later covered over by a gym floor and allegedly forgotten until the building was being prepared for demolition. The second story contained classrooms, offices, and the gymnasium; the third floor contained the gym gallery and a larger classroom.

An addition completed in 1960 extended the building northward toward the Peabody Library. At one point the university post office was located in the gym's basement.

At the suggestion of the Campus Master Plan the 34,505 square-foot gym was demolished. The site is now home to the Rather Communication Building. The offices and classrooms found in both the men's and women's gymnasiums were later consolidated into the Health-Kinesiology Center.

At some point during the early 1990s the cornerstone wound up in downtown Huntsville at the southwest corner of Eleventh Street and Sam Houston Avenue. The rescued cornerstones of both the Education Building and Women's Gym are featured as part of the Sculptural Wall outdoor project designed by visual artist Richard Haas.

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