Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project

 

 
Porter Gymnasium

Click on image titles for larger views.
Institution Name: Wesleyan College
Original/Historic Place Name: Porter Gymnasium
Location on Campus: Lane Dr., SW corner of quadrangle
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1928original construction Walker & Weeks
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Materials:
Foundation: poured concrete
Walls: brick
Roof: shingle
 
    Function:
ca. 1928auditorium
ca. 1928chapel (small)
ca. 1928-present (2007)gymnasium (physical education classes, sport events, dance studios)

Significance: culture, education
Landmark designation:
National RegisterWesleyan College Historic District (2004)
Narrative: see below
References: see below
 

Narrative:
Named by the trustees in honor of the late James Hyde Porter, a Wesleyan benefactor and longtime trustee, the Porter Gymnasium building houses a heated swimming pool, a weight room, and a basketball/volleyball court, as well as a dance studio, classrooms, dressing rooms, showers, and offices. The arena seats 700.

Over the roof of the gym is the weathervane. The design, custom-crafted in 1928 in honor of athletic programs at the first women's college, represents college women engaged in a game of basketball. The two-ton ball and spire blew down in a storm several years ago and was stored in the attic of the gym for some time. A fifty-foot crane and a crew of three men were required to hoist the weathervane back in place.

Before the Porter auditorium was built, all campus assemblies, including religious services, convocations, and student assemblies, were held in Porter Gym. It was next to the dining room, then the primary gathering place on campus.
 

References:
I. Bibliographic sources:

Akers, Samuel L. The First Hundred Years of Wesleyan College, 1836-1936. Macon, GA: Wesleyan College, 1976.

Miller, Margaret. "The Founding and Early History of Wesleyan College." M. A. thesis, University of Georgia, 1935.

Quillian, William Fletcher. A New Day for Historic Wesleyan. Nashville, TN: Printed for Wesleyan College, Publishing House Methodist Episcopal Church, [1928?].

Rees, Frances. "A History of Wesleyan Female College from 1836 to 1874." M. A. thesis, Emory University, 1935.

Thomas, Kenneth H., Bamby Ray, and Lynn Speno. Wesleyan College Historic District. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 2004.

II. Location of other data:
University: Library, Special Collections, Facilities Management Office
SHPO
Government Offices
 

Contact us / About Site / About CIC
© 2006
Council of Independent Colleges
One Dupont Circle, Ste. 320
Washington, DC
All rights reserved
Last update: November 2006