Waterman Gymnasiums



In 1878 a concerted student movement had developed through the reorganization of an earlier Football Association which became the Athletic Association of the University, an incorporated society which had as its principal objectives the building of a gymnasium and the establishment of a trust fund for the moneys raised for that purpose. By 1883 the sum totaled some $4,000, which amount was greatly increased by the time the building was actually erected ten years later. The first step toward the construction of the gymnasium came through a gift, in 1891, of $20,000 from Joshua W. Waterman, of Detroit, on condition that other donors should contribute a like amount (Regent's Proceeding , 1891, p. 13). President Angell was able to report in 1894 that $42,705, including Mr. Waterman’s original gift, was available for the construction of a gymnasium, to which was added $6,095, the amount of the fund originally raised for a gymnasium by previous student efforts; this was used for equipment.

Due to the Depression the University was unable to begin the wing for the use of women.  The men and women students were left with a most unsatisfactory arrangement of dividing various hours during the week in Waterman Gymnasium.  In December of 1895, Regent Levi L. Barbour, of Detroit, gave the University several lots in Detroit which were to be used for an art building.  At the January 1898 Regents' meeting, however, Regent Fletcher moved that "in view of the genrosity of Regent Emeritus Barbour in giving property valued at $25,000 to aid in the erection of the Women's Building on the campus, that hereafter the building be known as the Barbour Gymnasium."  Apparently, there was some verbal agreement that a part of this gift should be considered as a gift to the women's buildling rather than toward an art building (U of M Encyclopedic Survey, p. 1582).





Architectural Sketch of Waterman Gymnasium

 

Waterman Gymnasium


Waterman Gymnasium under construction. 


Waterman Gymnasium

Waterman Gymnasium Exterior Detail

Waterman Gymnasium Entrance




Woman using Waterman Gymnasium


With the growth of the University, the Waterman Gymnasium proved inadequate. Plans for enlargement were accordingly prepared, providing for an addition making it 248 feet long, with corresponding additions in the locker room and shower facilities and a track of ten laps to the mile in the balcony. These additions, which were completed by the University Department of Buildings and Grounds in 1916, gave the building a total floor area of 57,000 square feet.


Waterman Gymnasium Interior

Waterman Gymnasium Barracks during WWI
1000 men attended a fundraising banquet for the Union.
The annual J-Hop was held in Waterman Gymnasium
It was the custom to photograph the group arranged in a Block M


A collection of Dance Cards from J-Hops

Registration in Waterman Gymnasium

Barbour Gymnasium (left) Waterman Gymnasium (right)



Waterman Gymnasium


Waterman Gymnasium


Barbour Gymnasium (left) Waterman Gymnasium (right)

Facing the Diag



Pitching Horseshoes
Waterman Gymnasium (right) Chemistry Building in background, Toilets (small building on left)


Barbour Gymnasium (left) Waterman Gymnasium (right)