Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project

 

 
Fitness Center

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Institution Name: Franklin College
Original/Historic Place Name: The Gymnasium
Location on Campus: south side of campus, east of Johnson Center for Fine Arts on Grizzly Dr.
Date(s) of Construction:
1908original construction D. A. Bohlen & Son
Designer: D. A. Bohlen & Son (Indianapolis, IN)
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Beaux-Arts classicism (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Materials:
Foundation: poured concrete
Walls: brick
Roof: wood with tar coating
 
Function:
1908-present (2006)gymnasium
 

Narrative:
The Fitness Center was completed in 1908 and was simply known as "the Gymnasium" for many years thereafter. The original facility contained a basketball court on the main floor along with apparatus for general work in "Physical Culture." Locker rooms for men and women were located in the basement adjacent to a fifty by twenty swimming pool with depths ranging from four to eight feet. Steam coils were used for warming the water. The old gymnasium was the home of Franklin's famed Wonder Five basketball team. The Wonder Five has long been touted as the greatest Indiana High School basketball team of all time, having won three consecutive Indiana high school state tournaments (1920-1922) and compiling an overall record of 89-9. The Wonder Five teammates continued on to Franklin College where they lost only ten games in four seasons. As a team, the Wonder Five compiled a combined winning percentage of .917 throughout high school and college.
 

References:
 

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Last update: November 2006