New life for old gym
 A history of UF's first gym
 About the center
 A capital campaign priority


CLAS notes
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00073682/00205
 Material Information
Title: CLAS notes the monthly news publication of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: University of Florida -- College of Arts and Sciences
Publisher: College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Creation Date: May 1998
Frequency: monthly
Subjects / Keywords: Education, humanistic -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
periodical   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
General Note: Subtitle varies; some numbers issued without subtitle.
General Note: Description based on: Vol. 2, no. 11 (Nov. 1988); title from caption.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001806880
oclc - 28575488
notis - AJN0714
lccn - sn 93026902
System ID: UF00073682:00205
 Related Items
Preceded by: College bulletin board


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Table of Contents
    New life for old gym
        Page 1
    A history of UF's first gym
        Page 2
    About the center
        Page 3
    A capital campaign priority
        Page 4
Full Text

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May 5, 1998

New Life for Old Gym
Innovative Renovation of Historic Gym Will Provide Home for UF's
Growing Center for Women's Studies and Gender Research

Artist's rendering the renovated Women's Gym, complete with gardens and outdoor teaching space.
Artist's rendering of the renovated Women's Gym, complete with gardens and outdoor teaching space.

$2 Million Gift Sought to Initiate Project

uilt in 1919, the stately brick
gymnasium now known as
the "Women's Gym" has quite a his-
tory. In its early decades, the gym
functioned at the heart of campus
life, housing sporting events, lectures,
assemblies and dances. With the con-
struction of the Florida Gymnasium
in 1950 and the advent of coeduca-
tion in 1948, the gym was designated
a women's facility, and when the
Women's Athletic Department was
moved to the newer gym in 1979, the
once-prized building fell further into
Fortunately, as part of a larger effort
to revitalize the historic character of
the quickly growing UF campus, the
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
plans to restore the building in order
to house the growing interdisciplin-
ary Center for Women's Studies and
Gender Research. Innovative plans
drawn up by UF architects utilize the
gym's large windows for natural light

and include multi-level classroom,
office and conference spaces overlook-
ing a central meeting area. The plans
also call for the transformation of the
parking lot- which presently fronts the
building-into a garden reminiscent of
the landscaped walkways and green-
spaces of the original UF campus.
At the kickoff of the Capital Cam-
paign on September 19, 1997, both
President John Lombardi and CLAS
Dean Willard Harrison rated renova-
tion of the Women's Gym as a major
priority for the campus. According to
Dean Harrison, "Not only would this
create a marvelous facility for a grow-
ing program, but it would resuscitate
another historic building and bring it
back into broad academic use. The
funding of this building is a tremen-
dous opportunity for some farsighted
friend of the university." When fund-
ing is secured, this historic treasure will
once again become an integral part of
the bustling UF campus.%


A History of UF's First Gym

he building currently known
as the Women's Gym was the
first permanent structure at
the University of Florida intended
for campus-wide use. Originally
conceived to serve as both an indoor
basketball arena and an assembly
hall, the gymnasium was built as part
of a construction impetus following
the 1918 armistice, reflecting the
needs of the expanding student body

I 'm
From the 1940 Seminole: future UF President
Stephen C. O'Connell (left), then Assistant Coach
of the boxing team, stands outside the ring ropes
(3rd floor of the original gym) with Head Coach
Carlos Proctor and Manager Roger Weeks.

in the aftermath of World War I. The
structure was designed by William
Edwards (1866-1939), a South Caro-
lina architect who was responsible
for both campus planning and design
of the University's first thirteen struc-
tures between 1905 and 1925.
Construction of the Gym began in
late summer of 1918 and was com-
pleted the following year, but only
after citizens of Gainesville chipped
in to overcome a debilitating budget-
ary shortfall. Excitement generated
from the community effort to make
the facility a reality led then UF Pres-
ident A. A. Murphree and the mayor
of Gainesville to invite the New York
Giants baseball team to hold their
spring training on campus, utilizing
the new gym. The Giants accepted,
providing entertainment and public-
ity to the city of Gainesville. Ac-
cording to the baseball summary in
the 1919 Seminole yearbook: "The
presence of the Giants here gave the
men many pointers as to the playing
of the game. We gave them three
practice games, and before we had
time to overcome the faults shown
by these, our schedule called us on a

trip to South Carolina."
The auditorium and gym became a
focal point of activity for the univer-
sity community. It was, alternately,
a basketball arena, assembly and
lecture hall, chapel, dance hall, and
movie theater for thousands of stu-
dents and faculty members. During
one of his frequent campus visits in
the 1920s, William Jennings Bryan,
a close friend of President Murphree,
used the gym to address the UF
student body about the dangers of
As adequate room for spectator
seating hadn't been figured into the
building's plans, only a few years
after its completion the gymnasium's
volumetric limitations made its use
as a basketball court impractical,
and a second campus building (a
barn-like structure made of wood and
considered temporary) was erected
for that purpose (see photo, page 4).
And here lies a source of confusion
for many alumni. Originally called
"The New Gym," once the larger
wooden structure was built to accom-
modate competitive sporting events,
the original gym became known as
the "Old-New Gym" and later, just
the "Old Gym." The building was
designated the "Women's Gym" in
1948, when UF became officially
coeducational, and it continues to
bear that name despite subsequent
changes in use.
After the addition of the new struc-
ture, the original gym continued to be
used for general athletic purposes, es-
pecially intramurals and
what were then called
"minor" sports. "In the
30s and 40s," explains
Stephen C. O'Connell,
"the Old Gym was a cen-
ter of athletic activity:
gymnastics, wrestling,
fencing and physical
education classes were
conducted on the second
floor, and lockers for
swimmers and others
were located on the
ground floor. The From the 1949 S
boxing team [of in the Women's G
which O'Connell RALLIES TOPR

was a mem-
ber] trained
on the third
floor." (see
photo, left).
In 1979,
after the Wo-
men's Ath-
letic Depart-
ment moved
to the Florida
the Univer-
sity received
state funds to The Gym shortly after i
demolish the
Women's Gym. A farsighted interest in
preserving original campus structures
prevailed, however, and in 1988 the
Women's Gymnasium was granted
protection under the National Register
of Historic Places.
In 1994, two faculty from the
College of Architecture, Associate
Professor Kim Tanzer and Professor
Caroline Constant, drafted an architec-
tural model and proposal for the gym's
renovation. Tanzer, who also serves
as a member of the Women's Studies
Executive Committee, has provided a
vision of the renovated Gym in tours
given to alumnae, prospective donors,
and members of the UF Foundation
"The renovation of the Women's
Gym will allow the University of
Florida to claim the only freestanding
building devoted to Women's Studies
anywhere in the United States," Tan-
zer explains. "It will also center this
emerging, richly
field right in the
heart of the aca-
demic campus. The
reuse of a wonder-
ful historic build-
ing allows us to
honor the past and
create the future si-
0 multaneously."%

eminole: newly admitted coeds playing basketball
,ym. The yearbook caption reads: DEFENSE
EVENT SCORE...for the Tri-Delts, trophy happiness.

Text adapted from National Register of Historic Places Documentation and the architectural renovation proposal written by Kim Tanzer and Caroline Constant.

ts completion


About the Center

UF initiated
its undergraduate
Women's Studies
program in 1977,
adding a PhD con-
centration in 1995.
In 1994, the Board
of Regents ap-
proved a research
center that merged
with Women's
Studies to become
the Center for Wo-
men's Studies and
i in 1919. UFArchives Gender Research
Director Sue Rosser explains that
the Center is committed to making sure
women's studies is integrated into the
entire curriculum. "I was quite impressed
when I first came here," says Rosser, "at
the interest in health and science which
you don't find in so many women's studies
programs-- a lot of them are directed sole-

ly toward the humanities." Accordingly,
the Center now boasts affiliated faculty
in the humanities, architecture, educa-
tion, pharmacy, sports science, political
science, law, anthropology, pi h i,. 1, ',,
sociology and medicine.
Rosser's own research presently has
two main concentrations: integrating
female-friendly teaching methods into
mainstream courses to make science more
appealing to women, and making sure
women's health issues are being adequate-
ly explored. "In an earlier age," Rosser
says of her interest in health, "women
of childbearing age were excluded from
most clinical trials because physicians
were afraid that experimental medica-
tions might cause women to give birth to
deformed fetuses." Although this reason-
ing was sound, says Rosser, the long-term
result has been unfavorable for the very
women such research was designed to
protect. "When you take something like
angioplasty," Rosser explains (and ap-
propriately, too, since heart disease is the

number one
cause of death
in females),
"the balloons,
sized for men' s
bodies, are too
large for many
women and
can actually
burst women' s Sue Rosser, Director
blood ves Center for Women's Studies
sels...there is and Gender Research
a much higher
fatality rate for women undergoing
this treatment." In her well-known
work Rosser calls for increased medical
awareness of the female body, and more
specific testing to be done on women.
Excited about the future home of
CWSGR, Rosser says, "with its cen-
tral campus location, the successful
renovation of the Women's Gym to
house the Center will symbolize the
full integration of women into the heart
of UF."

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR: Sue Rosser received her PhD in zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1973.
Since January, 1996, she has served as Directorfor the Center for Women's Studies and Gender Research at the University
of Florida, where she is also a professor of id,,l .y.. .i ., In 1995, she was Senior Program Officer for Women's Programs
at the National Science Foundation. From 1986 to 1995 she served as Director of Women's Studies at the University of
South Carolina, where she was also a professor of family and preventive medicine in the Medical School. Rosser has written
seven books, including Female-Friendly Science and Women's Health: Missing from US Medicine and has authored ap-
proximately 80journal articles on the theoretical and applied problems of women and science and women's health.
Contact Dr. Rosser or CWSGR at or http://www.clas.ufl.edu/wst/.

Women's Gym: Architectural Plan
Proposed by UF Architects Kim Tanzer and Caroline Constant

The unique ar-
a chitectural plan
for the renova-
tion of the Wo-
men's Gym will
both preserve the
gatourofthe Women's Gym, Kim historic dignity

r (left) discusses the interiorplans of the structure
an architectural model she and

ine Constant designed. and reflect the
vibrancy of the
Women's Studies Program, enabling it
to operate as a vital part of the campus
Perhaps the most dramatic exterior
transformation will be the replacement
of the existing parking lot in front of the
Women' s Gym with a landscaped garden
area, intended to provide an attractive
entry to the facility, re-establishing its
original connection to the UF campus.
Shade trees and a fountain will block

out surrounding noise, and a series of
smaller side gardens to the south will
extend seminar rooms to the open air,
providing spaces for outdoor classes or
Through the front entrance, an exhibi-
tion space, designed to draw a diverse,
campus-wide audience into the facility,
will feature rotating exhibits of recent
artworks by UF and community art-
ists. The lobby leads to the heart of the
renovated structure, the "Salon," a large
gathering space which will extend to the
full height of the building (preserving
the spacious quality of the original gym).
Similar to a traditional hotel lobby, the
Salon is intended to be a comfortable
area, appropriate for meetings in small
or large groups as well as formal lectures
and receptions.
The proposed classrooms are to be
large, open and able to accommodate

varied seating arrangements. Smaller
seminar rooms for classes and discus-
sion groups of 10-15 may also serve as
conference rooms or mini-workshops.
Additionally, a central workshop
equipped with Internet-linked comput-
ers and other media equipment will
serve a variety of uses ranging from
faculty and student research to the
production of promotional literature
and mailings.
The Center's offices will be capable
of modular subdivision so that smaller
areas can be created to accommodate
graduate students and faculty from
other departments, while larger spaces
can be maintained for administrators
and permanent or visiting faculty.
Finally, the third-floor Library will
overlook the entry garden. The existing
entry-facade window and clerestory
windows above the roof-supporting

A Capital Campaign Priority

It's Performance That Counts!

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Research and ealuate leaching techniques to
attract and retain women in science

Train professionals to work on gender and
de'elopnient in Africa and Latin America

Direct research addressing gender bias in medical
procedures. diagnoses and treatments for women
Aid in idenlif' ing gender conflicts in work
en ironnient in order to imniproe product ity or
work force
Enhance current student male & female
understanding of gender specific behaviors and

Aid faculty in including ionen-focused
scholarship in introduLctorI disciplinary coLurses

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In Their Own Words

WIell-kno\n Gators Coninment
on the Womnen's Gymn Project
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For more inior'mation about tlie \\oien's G m or
lhe LIF "It's Performanmce Thato Counts" Capital
Canlpaign. contact Carter Bol(sltni. CL.AS Director
of De\ elopiiient:
1352i 392-54' I or .

Visit us on the web: CLAS homepage-http://www.clas.ufl.edu Campaign site- http://www.clas.ufl.edu/dean/campaign