Filed Under Sports

Virginia Street Gymnasium

Opened in 1945, the gymnasium was long called the "Old Gym" after more modern facilities were constructed.

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).

Video

Student event in the old gymnasium, 1937 Historic footage of a student event in the Virginia Street Gymnasium, filmed by Ned Westover in 1937. Source: University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Creator: Amanda Buell Date: 1937
Activities in the old and "new" gyms A compilation of historic images of the various university gymnasiums. Source: University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Creator: Amanda Buell

Audio

Memories of the original gym Professor emeritus of History and UNR alumnus Dr. James Hulse shares memories of the Virginia Street Gym. Creator: Alicia Barber Date: 2015

Images

Virginia Street Gym at midcentury
Virginia Street Gym at midcentury Virginia Street Gym exterior ca. 1955. Source: University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Date: ca. 1955
Golf class
Golf class Women's golf students in the Virginia Street Gymnasium, March 1949. Source: University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Date: 1949
Volleyball game
Volleyball game A photograph in the Artemisia yearbook of a women's volleyball game in 1949 in the Virginia Street Gym. Source: University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Date: 1949
Carl Sandburg at Commencement
Carl Sandburg at Commencement Carl Sandburg spoke in the Virginia Street Gym at graduation in 1953. Source: University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Date: 1953
Registration
Registration Students registered for classes at the Virginia Street Gymnasium in the 1950s. Source: University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Date: 1950s
Inside the gym at registration
Inside the gym at registration Registration at the Virginia Street Gymnasium in 1956 Source: University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Date: 1956
Graduation in the gym
Graduation in the gym Graduates and faculty in the Virginia Street Gymnasium during Commencement, 1964. Source: University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Date: 1964
Faculty at Commencement
Faculty at Commencement Faculty procession approaching the gymnasium for Commencement in 1964. Source: University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Date: 1964
Men's basketball team
Men's basketball team Members of the men's basketball team in 1965. From left to right: Eddie Johnson, Napoleon Montgomery, Bill Nicholson, Rene Ranson, and Captain Mike Olivas. Source: University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Date: 1965
Women's basketball team
Women's basketball team Members of the women's basketball team, on the steps outside the Virginia Street Gym in 1976. Source: University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Date: 1976
Front entrance, Virginia Street Gym
Front entrance, Virginia Street Gym Evening view of the front entrance of the Virginia Street Gym. Source: University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Creator: Theresa Danna-Douglas Date: 2009

Location

Metadata

Amanda Buell and Reno Historical Team, “Virginia Street Gymnasium,” Reno Historical, accessed May 24, 2024, https://renohistorical.org/items/show/81.