Red Gym, Madison

Red Gym, Madison

The University of Wisconsin Armory and Gymnasium, also called "the Red Gym" or “Bowser’s Castle,” is a building on the campus of University of Wisconsin–Madison. It was originally used as a combination gymnasium and armory beginning in 1894. Designed in the Romanesque revival style, it resembles a red brick castle. It is situated on the shores of Lake Mendota, overlooking Library Mall, and adjacent to Memorial Union.

The architects, Conover and Porter, designed it with a dual purpose in mind: armory and gymnasium. Modifications were made to the plans when a new university president, Charles Adams, insisted that the second floor be capable of accommodating large assemblies. Construction began in fall, 1892, and was completed in September, 1894.

As originally constructed, the first floor of the Red Gym held military offices, an artillery drill room, bowling alleys, a locker room, and a swimming tank. The second floor contained a drill hall wide enough to permit a four-column battalion. The third floor was occupied by the gymnasium, which contained a baseball cage, gymnastic apparatus, and rowing machines. T

With diminishing use of the building after World War II, plans were made to demolish it; however, popular sentiment delayed those plans. When a new gym was constructed on the west end of campus in 1963, the building was again slated for demolition, and again received a reprieve. In the 1960s, it once again saw military use as ROTC headquarters. A firebomb aimed at the building by anti-war protesters in 1970 resulted in severe damage, which was repaired. Since then, the building has seen various administrative uses; it currently houses student services-related offices and centers.

The University of Wisconsin Armory and Gymnasium was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1993.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

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Red Gym on Map

Sight Name: Red Gym
Sight Location: Madison, USA (See walking tours in Madison)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Madison, Wisconsin

Create Your Own Walk in Madison

Create Your Own Walk in Madison

Creating your own self-guided walk in Madison is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
University of Wisconsin-Madison Walking Tour

University of Wisconsin-Madison Walking Tour

Founded the same year as Wisconsin achieved its statehood – 1848, the University of Wisconsin in Madison (often simply referred to as UW Madison) is the oldest public university in the state and the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System. The UW Madison campus, located on the shores of Lake Mendota, includes four National Historic Landmarks. Complete with these and a sweeping view...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 Km or 2.2 Miles
Madison Introduction Walking Tour

Madison Introduction Walking Tour

The Native Americans called the Madison area Taychopera, meaning "land of the four lakes" which are known today as Mendota, Monona, Waubesa, and Kegonsa. The first European settlement began in 1829 when James Duane Doty, a former federal judge, purchased over a thousand acres of land between Lakes Mendota and Monona.

The city was named after President James Madison and made the state...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.9 Km or 1.2 Miles