Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Mary E. Mars Gymnasium

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Institution Name: Lincoln Memorial University
Original/Historic Place Name: Mary E. Mars Gymnasium
Location on Campus:
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1947-1948remodeled Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: concrete
Walls: brick
Roof: steel
1948-present (2007)gymnasium

Landmark designation:
Narrative: see below
References: see below

In the mid-1940s a campaign began to plan for a new athletics facility for LMU. The fundraising was spearheaded by Sam Mars, Sr., a prominent businessman from nearby Middlesboro, KY. It was suggested that LMU consider purchasing a facility that had been used at the Camp Forrest Air Force base in Tullahoma, TN. Camp Forrest bears some historical significance in that General George S. Patton used the facility in 1941-42 to train the 2nd Armored Division. The structure was purchased and moved to the LMU campus in 1947 and eventually opened in 1948. Because of his role in the project, the building was named the Mary E. Mars Gymnasium in honor of Mr. Mars' mother. In 1954, an addition to the gymnasium was constructed to house the institution's first swimming pool. This section of the structure was named the Mary S. Annan Natatorium.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Suppiger, Joseph E. Phoenix of the Mountains: The Story of Lincoln Memorial University. Harrogate, TN: Lincoln Memorial University Press, 2001 (1977).

II. Location of other data:

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