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Montgomery Gymnasium, built as an armory and as the center for College instruction of "physical culture," is a Romanesque revival with a medieval three-story tower accenting the off-centered western entrance. It originally contained a playing floor, locker rooms, showers, a trophy room, and offices. The gym was also used as a drill hall for the military department, and the second floor was used by the Young Men's Christian Association.
Montgomery Gymnasium's exterior appearance, since the 1997 restoration of its east wall, is striking. Located on the main street that runs through campus, it is highly visible to all campus residents and visitors. The building currently houses a gymnasium and dance studio and is used primarily for dance classes and performances. It is situated just south of Cochran Hall, built in 1908.
Montgomery Gymnasium is named for Dr. James Montgomery, who served the College for his entire professional life. There is no question that Dr. Montgomery was a key factor in the alumni loyalty that made Allegheny distinctive among small liberal arts colleges at the onset of the twentieth century. It is perhaps fitting that the only building on campus named for a faculty member (other than those who were also presidents) carries his name. Montgomery Gymnasium continues to stand as a tribute to stu spirit, to the connection between liberal arts and physical fitness, and to the stu ties that remain a cen feature of the Al expe.
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