Davis Gym

DavisGym,late1920s,McFall CollectionDavis Gym-March 3, 1961

Davis Gym, a long-time fixture on the Alfred University campus, will shortly be just a memory for thousands of alumni who have fond recollections of events, shows, athletic contests, etc. that took place within its walls. The photo above on the left shows the gym in the mid-1920s, shortly after it was built (without the front addition). The photo on the right is from the early 1960s. Below is a time table outlining important events in the building’s history:

1925—Indoor cinder track with basketball court in center was erected

1926—First public event held in gym Jan. 23, 1926 when Alfred U. defeated Rochester Mechanics 44-31, followed by a wrestling match between a couple of young men, and relay races on the cinder track. The name “Davis Gym” was given to carry out a suggestion made by NYS Senator Leonard W. Gibbs in 1915 when a fund was started by alumni to build a gym as a memorial to President Boothe C. Davis.

1928—Two-story front installed; tan bark track installed, expanding initial cinder track into basement of the two-story structure; new basketball court installed; pole vault/high jump is installed in north end

1929—“Track and Field House” dedicated Feb. 8, 1929. President Davis, in outlining the history of Alfred’s athletic equipment during the dedication exercises, said “The Trustees have not sanctioned the use of the name ‘Davis Track House’ for this building. I personally have no objection to this building carrying my name. Indeed I would feel complimented to have it so named by the students and the Trustees. But there are members of the Board of Trustees who feel that some other type of college building which they hope to erect later will be a more appropriate memorial to the President…It is officially the Track House.”

1948—Gymnasium rehabilitated: included installation of a new gym floor, new athletic track, and sound proofing

1956—Second story built over the east wing that formerly housed heating equipment; providing ladies’ restroom, coaches’ offices, shower room for officials, storage rooms and wrestling room

1961—Addition to North side rebuilt and enlarged during the summer

1978–Davis Gym renovated with new lighting, insulation in ceiling, windows removed, new exterior insulated wall added along with four emergency exits

2008–Plans had been made to construct the new ceramic art museum on the site of Davis Gym. After a resolution by the Student Senate asking that it not be torn down until an alternate space was constructed, the University trustees agree to hold off on tearing it down until such a space is created

Spring 2014 – New recreational center at McLane Center opens; Davis Gym demolished to make room for ceramic art museum



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