William Smith Gymnasium
In 1941 the William Smith College Alumnae Association embarked on a campaign to raise funds for a new gymnasium. The building was meant to be a gift to the college from the alumnae to replace the current gym, which was a barn located behind Blackwell House. A pamphlet was sent out to all alumnae outlining the need for a new gym and the amount to be raised - $10,000. This drawing of the proposed William Smith College gymnasium was on the front of the pamphlet.
The following are quotes from the pamphlet:
"There is, I am sure, not one of us - from the members of the Charter Class down to the present freshmen - who has not wished for a real gymnasium, although all of us have a sentimental fondness for the old, skunk-scented barn."
"In the early days we trudged through the drifts to the gym, where we made what use we could of the antiquated apparatus salvaged from the old Hobart gymnasium. We jumped languidly over the horse, rather hoping that we would time our falls so as to land in the arms of the handsome instructor whom we shared with Hobart. We waved dumb-bells vaguely, endangering our teeth and those of our classmates...And of course we played basketball."
"The outward appearance has been improved by removing the surrounding sheds - which allows the west and south winds to whistle through the building like a barn. Well, why not? It is a barn."
The needed $10,000 was raised for the new gym, however the original design proposed in the pamphlet was not built. Instead an addition was added onto the back of the barn in 1942. The gym was not again enlarged until 1964 when two wings were added onto each side of the 1942 addition and the original barn that had been in use since 1908 was finally demolished. The present Winn-Seeley Gymnasium still includes the 1942 addition to the barn.
This photograph of the William Smith College gymnasium was taken around 1943. It shows the original "Barn" gymnasium on the left and an addition to the right. The new gymnasium proposed in 1941 was not fully realized.
Shown on the right is another design for a gymnasium for William Smith College proposed in 1927. The drawing was done by architect I. Edgar Hill of Geneva, NY. Hill was the architect for the Coxe Hall addition that was done in 1926-27. His design for a William Smith gymnasium was not built.
This design for a proposed gymnasium for William Smith College was drawn by architect Hobart Upjohn of New York City. The design is undated but was possibly proposed in 1930 when Upjohn presented his plans for both the Hobart College and the William Smith College campuses to the Board of Trustees. Upjohn's "Plan for the Future Development of Hobart College" is included in this exhibit. Unfortunately his plan for William Smith College has not been found, however we do know that one of his proposals was for a new gymnasium, which was not built.