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Brunoniana

From Martha Mitchell’s Encyclopedia Brunoniana:

Sayles Gymnasium

Sayles Gymnasium was made possible by the subscription by Frank A. Sayles 1890 of $50,000 to the endowment fund of 1900, with the stipulation that the use of this money be later determined subject to his approval. Friends of the Women’s College suggested a gymnasium for the women students, Sayles approved, and the cornerstone was laid on May 6, 1906. Designed by Edward B. Willson of Stone, Carpenter and Willson in red brick with terra cotta trim, the style was described as “modern English collegiate.” A balcony which was later removed was intended for the use of speakers on Ivy Day. The building also had a track in the balcony and a bowling alley in the basement. The first social event in Sayles Gymnasium, a dance given by Delta Sigma sorority, took place on January 2, 1907, before the formal dedication on January 26. About 1912 Sayles Gym was reorganized under Miss M. Elizabeth Bates, the new instructor in hygiene and physical education, to include Swedish apparatus in the gymnasium, a corrective room (for posture), a quiet rest room (for students unable to exercise), and a social rest-room “for the refreshment of the senses,” where non-resident students could gather. The bowling alleys were refinished and provision made for indoor tennis. In the 1930s the rest room was available for use by any group of at least four students to stay overnight on special occasions, at a charge of twenty-five cents per person. In later years, the building was used for recreational sports and offices. In 1990 the Physical Education Department left Sayles Gymnasium, which was to be renovated for classroom use.

The above entry appears in Encyclopedia Brunoniana by Martha Mitchell, copyright 1993 by the Brown University Library. It is used here by permission of the author and the University and may not be copied or further distributed without permission.


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