Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Eugene E. Closson Physical Educaiton Center

Click on image titles for larger views.
Institution Name: Graceland University
Original/Historic Place Name: Eugene E. Closson Physical Education Center
Location on Campus:
Date(s) of Construction:
1967original construction John Shaver & Company
Designer: John Shaver & Company (Salina, KS)
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Contemporary (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: brick
Roof: foam
ca. 1967-present (2006)gymnasium
ca. 1967-present (2006)faculty offices
ca. 1967-present (2006)classrooms

Opened in 1969, the Closson Center is significant because of its unique design and use. The building's name honors Eugene E. Closson, who was an active supporter of the college's athletic teams throughout the years he taught at Graceland (1931 to 1959). The Closson Center consists of a field house, a junior Olympic swimming pool, offices, classrooms, locker rooms, and weight training and equipment rooms. The multi-purpose building contains 69,000 sq. ft. and was built at a cost of $1.6 million. The field house is composed of three large beams supporting a grid on which the polyurethane foam roof was sprayed. The indoor track is 200 meters surrounding 3 full-size basketball courts, with a Tartan surface by 3M. It provides the facilities for 17 varsity sports and intramurals in which about 90% of the student body participates. Its fold out bleachers and main floor seats approximately 2,000 persons, and it is the setting for the annual commencement.


Cheville, Roy A. Through the West Door: the Story of the First Half-Century of Graceland College. Independence, MO: Herald Publishing House, 1946.

Edwards, Paul M. The Hilltop Where: an Informal History of Graceland College. Lamoni, IA: Venture Foundation, 1972.

Goehner, David. The Graceland College Book of Knowledge. Independence, MO: Graceland Publishing House, 1997.

Higdon, Barbara J., ed. An Illustrated History of Graceland College. Independence, MO: Herald Publishing House, 1989.


Contact us / About Site / About CIC
© 2006
Council of Independent Colleges
Washington, DC
All rights reserved
Last update: November 2006