AKA: University of Washington, Seattle (UW), Women's Gymnasium, Seattle, WA; University of Washington, Seattle (UW), Hutchinson, Mary Gross, Hall, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - public buildings - schools - university buildings

Designers: Bebb and Gould, Architects (firm); Moore, Josiah C., Consulting Equipment Engineer (firm); Charles Herbert Bebb ; Carl Freylinghausen Gould Sr. (architect); Josiah C. Moore

Dates: constructed 1926-1927

3 stories

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4276 East Stevens Way NE
University of Washington Campus, Seattle, WA 98195

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Overview

Norman J. Johnston, The Campus Guide University of Washington, (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2001), p. 86, indicated that the University of Washington's Women's Gymnasium was built in 1927. It was another of the firm of Bebb and Gould's Tudor/Gothic Revival buildings erected on the campus between 1917 and the 1930s. This series of Bebb and Gould designs has formed the bedrock of the campus's architectural character to the present.

Building History

Designed at about the same time as Suzzallo Library, the UW Women's Gymnasium shared its Tudor/Gothic Revival styling. The 1928 edition of the University of Washington Yearbook, The Tyee, said of the newly finished facility: “The adaptation of Tudor-Gothic architecture to the peculiar contour of the land and the arrangement of units to fit the needs of the program and the convenience of students, makes it unique in the campus group. The building included a large gymnasium, dance studio, rest rooms, locker and shower rooms, corrective exercise rooms, offices, swimming pool, major club room and study room, and Women’s Athletic Association room. These facilities, together with outdoor facilities, which include tennis courts, a soccer and archery field, horseshoe courts, an outdoor dance studio and Denny Field, offer opportunity for a complete recreational program for women." (See "Women's Athletics The Physical Education Building," University of Washington Tyee Yearbook, 1928, p. 179.)

In 1927, male and female students at the UW had a physical fitness requirement, and this gym (an other facilites on campus) enabled women to participate in a variety of sports, including soccer, tennis, clog and character dancing, natural dancing, hockey, basketball, folk dancing, rifle shooting, archery, baseball, volleyball, canoeing, golf, horseback riding and swimming.

Drawings for the main four sections of the building dated from 11/06/1926, while drawings for the swimming pool portion dated from 03/1927. The plans also included the name of Josiah C. Moore, "Equipment Engineer."

On 10/04/1947, the Regents of the UW renamed the Women's Physical Education Building for Mary Gross Hutchinson (born 09/13/1891 in Baltimore, MD-d. 05/20/1947 in Seattle, WA), the long-time head of the UW's Women's Physical Education Department. (See "U.W. Regents Accept Cancer Teaching Grant," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 10/05/1947, p. HH28.) She joined the UW's department in 1919 from Goucher College, having met President Henry Suzzallo (1875-1933) during World War I while doing Red Cross service in Europe. She served as head of the department from 1930 until her death on May 20th. (See "In Memoriam: Mary Gross Hutchinson," Journal of Health and Physical Education, vol. 18, no. 9, 1947, p. 660.)

The facility functioned as the University of Washington's Women's Gymnasium until 1984, when the admininstration chose to renovate it to house the Drama Department.

Building Notes

The building had to utilize steps to accommodate significant changes in grade among its constituent parts and bent to conform to its location on Stevens Way, which curved to the southeast just to the west. The gym originally contained five functionally-distinct components. On the north, a two-floor rectangular pavilion with a bay window projecting on the west housed offices on the first floor and a small gymnasium on the second. Connected to this to the southeast, was a pie-slice shaped lobby. Continuing southeast was a connective portion differentiated by a tower that housed a dressing room, stair hall and classroom on the first floor, rest rooms and corrective gym on the second, and a study room on the fhird. The main gym section came next, which had locker and shower rooms on the first floor and the gym itself on the second and third floors. Farthest south, a section had the dressing rooms and a pool on the first floor with bleachers and open space a floor above this. Typical of Beaux-Arts planning, functionally distinct parts of the building were reflected with differentiated forms on the exterior.

A drawing of the UW Women's Gymnasium can be found in the University of Washington Library, Department of Special Collections, Location: HA0123 407, ID #5700. Earl Grey Park (1882-1928) was one draftsman in the Bebb and Gould office who worked on drawings for this project.

The Far West Clay Company provided the face brick for various Tudor/Gothic buildings by Bebb and Gould on the UW Campus, including the Home Economics Building, Philosophy Hall, Education Building, Mines Building, Mines Building Addition, and the Women's Gymnasium. (See Far West Clay Company advertisement, University of Washington Tyee Yearbook, 1927, p. 397.)

Alteration

As noted above, alterations occurred in 1984 to accommodate the UW's Drama Department.

PCAD id: 6554