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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Madison in Dane County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Armory & Gymnasium

University of Wisconsin - Madison

 
 
Armory & Gymnasium Marker image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, August 4, 2010
1. Armory & Gymnasium Marker
Inscription.
Armory & Gymnasium
University of Wisconsin - Madison
has been designated a
National Historic Landmark
This site possesses national significance
in commemorating the history of the
United States of America.

 
Erected 1993 by National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the National Historic Landmarks, and the Wisconsin, Madison Landmarks Commission marker series.
 
Location. 43° 4.568′ N, 89° 23.903′ W. Marker is in Madison, Wisconsin, in Dane County. Marker is on Langdon Street 0.1 miles east of North Park Street, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 716 Langdon Street, Madison WI 53706, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Born in Madison, the Wisconsin Idea changed the nation (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); State Historical Society (about 500 feet away); A Stage for All (about 600 feet away but has been reported missing); University Presbyterian Church and Student Center (about 600 feet away); Science Hall
Armory & Gymnasium Marker image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, August 4, 2010
2. Armory & Gymnasium Marker
Front entrance to the "Red Gym" with markers on the right.
(about 700 feet away); Leaders in Science (about 700 feet away); Delta Upsilon Fraternity House (approx. 0.2 miles away); On the Air (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Madison.
 
Regarding Armory & Gymnasium. According to the Madison Landmarks Commission, which designated the University of Wisconsin Armory and Gymnasium as a landmark (no. 169) in 2007, "The UW Armory and Gymnasium [designed by architects Allan Conover and Lew Porter and built 1892-1894] is a significant and outstanding example of its building type. The 'castellated medieval fortress' variation of the Romanesque Revival marks it unquestionably as an armory, while the interior spaces and large open spans made it a state-of-the-art nineteenth century gymnasium. The Armory features a rusticated coursed sandstone ashlar foundation, and load-bearing brick walls in common bond with sandstone trim. Distinguishing features include stepped gables, turrets and towers with corbelled and crenellated battlements, and broad arched entryways on the south and west facades.

"The UW Armory was the site of the 1904 Wisconsin Republican Convention, a seminal event in the history of the Progressive
Armory & Gymnasium image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, August 4, 2010
3. Armory & Gymnasium
Front, southern view of the "Red Gym" with Lake Mendota in the background
Movement. At this convention, Robert M. La Follette's Progressives defeated the Stalwarts for control of the Wisconsin Republican Party. Widespread favorable publicity launched La Follette on the national scene. The controversy and legal suit engendered by the 'Gymnasium Convention' and La Follette's subsequent vindication by the Supreme Court of Wisconsin led the Progressives to victory that November, giving them a majority in the state legislature the following year. This allowed the enactment of substantial reforms, many of which were subsequently adopted by many states across the Nation."
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. This is a list of markers for buildings designed by Conover.
 
Also see . . .  Landmark Nomination (pdf). Madison Landmarks Commission nomination form for the Armory & Gymnasium (Submitted on August 4, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin.) 
 
Additional keywords. Architecture
 
Categories. EducationSports
 
Armory & Gymnasium image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, August 4, 2010
4. Armory & Gymnasium
View from a Memorial Union balcony on the west
Armory & Gymnasium image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, August 4, 2010
5. Armory & Gymnasium
View from Lake Mendota to the north
Armory & Gymnasium Dedication image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, August 4, 2010
6. Armory & Gymnasium Dedication
Dedication on front of "Red Gym": "Armory and Gymnasium of the University of Wisconsin, 1893, erected by the bounty of the State."
State Armory & Gymnasium Marker image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, August 4, 2010
7. State Armory & Gymnasium Marker
The "Red Gym" is also in the Wisconsin State Register of Historic Places
Armory & Gymnasium Sign image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, August 4, 2010
8. Armory & Gymnasium Sign
Sign in front of the "Red Gym"
University of Wisconsin Armory & Gymnasium Marker image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, April 13, 2012
9. University of Wisconsin Armory & Gymnasium Marker
This Madison Landmarks Commission marker is in the lobby just inside the front door of the "Red Gym," and reads as follows:

This building is significant for its association with the early history of the University of Wisconsin. It exemplifies the castellated medieval fortress variation of the Romanesque Revival style, and is unique for its combination of the armory and gymnasium building types. It is also significant for its association with historical political events, as the site of the 1904 Wisconsin Republican Convention, a seminal event in the history of the Progressive Movement. One of the most visually prominent buildings on campus, it features stepped gables, and towers with crenellated battlements.

Designated September 18, 2007
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 710 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin.   9. submitted on , by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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