The Ohio State Armory

Posted on Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012 by John Wood

Ohio State Armory - 1898

I’ve had this picture of this fantastic old gym in my collection for years and it has always been a mystery as to exactly where it was. Recently, thanks to the wonder of the internet, we have found out that this is the interior view of the gymnasium of the Ohio State Armory, in Columbus, Ohio.

This was a pretty typical gym at the time: plenty of wide open space and a variety of available gymnastic training equipment such as traveling rings, medicine balls, tumbling mats, pommel horses and climbing ropes etc. Like most gyms of the period, the training options were basic, but more than enough to obtain good results. The large and very impressive semi-circular beamed roof was specifically designed to allow in plenty of natural light.

The armory was quite a facility, It was built in 1897 and resembled a Medieval castle, turrets and all, as you can see in the exterior shot below.

Archbold Gymnasium, Syracuse University

Posted on Thursday, April 26th, 2012 by John Wood

Archbold Gymnasium, Syracuse University

Keeping very much in line with the motto “A strong mind in a sound body”, in 1908, Archbold Gymnasium on the campus of Syracuse University opened its doors… It was the finest physical training facility in the world at the time, and featured an elevated track, climbing ropes, gymnastic equipment as far as the eye could see, a swimming pool and even several bowling alleys. They actually used to hold entire indoor track meets there. Also of note is the large glass-domed roof which let in plenty of natural light.

An unusual feature that could be found in the basement was an indoor rowing tank, installed so that the crew team could get in some much needed practice in the early spring before the ice melted.

This fabulous gymnasium was named for the oil magnate John D. Archbold, who gave the university the funds to complete the building. Look closely at the top image and you’ll also see the top few rows of Archbold Stadium, once one of the largest open air football stadiums in the country and the current site of the Carrier dome.

The Yale Gymnasium

Posted on Wednesday, November 16th, 2011 by John Wood

The Yale Gymnasium

In keeping with the concept of ‘Mens sana in corpore sano” (A sound mind in a healthy body), at the turn of the last century, the Ivy League schools were centers for physical education in addition to academic pursuits.  Here’s a rare look at the interior of the Yale University Gymnasium, circa 1901.

This grand facility was located at 55 Hillhouse Avenue in New Haven, Connecticut and was under the direction of Mr. William Gilbert Anderson, a famous physical education teacher and author.