Virginia Street Gymnasium

The Virginia Street Gymnasium was designed in 1938 by Frederic J. DeLongchamps after it was decided that the original gymnasium was no longer large enough to accommodate the University's growing student population. Located on what was then the northern edge of campus, it was the last of a long series of University buildings designed by DeLongchamps. The symmetrical rectangular brick building has decorative elements of the Art Moderne style, the only building of this style on campus. It is located adjacent to Virginia Street behind Lincoln and White Pine Halls. The gymnasium was used as the Department of Physical Education and for athletic events until the mid-1970s, when new buildings took over these functions.

Although designed in 1938, the gymnasium was not officially completed until 1945. The intervening seven years included time spent waiting for matching government funds, and after construction began, in solving other problems. When construction was finally begun early in 1941, the projected completion date was 1942, and a cornerstone with that date was installed. World War II intervened, along with heating problems that prevented laying the flooring. In 1943-44 the unfinished gym housed Air Force cadets for the U.S. Government. The Virginia Street Gym was first used for University athletics in 1945. Upon its completion, the new gym had seats for 3,500 spectators.

What was long known as the "Old Gym" became the sole playing venue for the volleyball program in 1994 and now contains complete training facilities and renovated locker rooms. It is the home of the Lynn Bremer Study Center for student-athletes and the offices of the University Study Abroad Consortium (USAC).

Images

1955

1955

Virginia Street Gym exterior ca. 1955. Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno View File Details Page

Golf class, 1949

Golf class, 1949

Women's golf students in the Virginia Street Gymnasium, March 1949. Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Volleyball game, 1949

Volleyball game, 1949

A photograph in the Artemisia yearbook of a women's volleyball game in 1949 in the Virginia Street Gym. Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Commencement, 1953

Commencement, 1953

Carl Sandburg spoke in the Virginia Street Gym at graduation in 1953. Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Registration, 1956

Registration, 1956

Students registered for classes at the Virginia Street Gymnasium in the 1950s. Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Inside the gym at registration

Inside the gym at registration

Registration at the Virginia Street Gymnasium in 1956 Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Graduation, 1964

Graduation, 1964

Graduates and faculty in the Virginia Street Gymnasium during Commencement, 1964. Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Faculty at Commencement, 1964

Faculty at Commencement, 1964

Faculty procession approaching the gymnasium for Commencement in 1964. Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Men's basketball team, 1965

Men's basketball team, 1965

From left to right: Eddie Johnson, Napoleon Montgomery, Bill Nicholson, Rene Ranson, and Captain Mike Olivas. Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Women's basketball team, 1976

Women's basketball team, 1976

Women's basketball team, on the steps outside the Virginia Street Gym in 1976. Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Front entrance, Virginia Street Gym

Front entrance, Virginia Street Gym

Evening view of the front entrance of the Virginia Street Gym. Photo by Theresa Danna-Douglas, 2009. Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Video

Student event in the old gymnasium, 1937

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Activities in the old and "new" gyms

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Cite this Page:

Amanda Buell and Reno Historical Team, “Virginia Street Gymnasium,” Reno Historical, accessed May 24, 2017, http://renohistorical.org/items/show/81.
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