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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Louisville in Jefferson County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
 

Columbia Gym

 
 
Columbia Gym Marker (Side A) image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, November 26, 2020
1. Columbia Gym Marker (Side A)
Inscription.  In 1941, the Louisville Service Club opened in the former Knights of Columbus and Columbia Auditorium building. The club provided weekend housing and entertainment for service men in the city in the lead up to US entry into World War II. The Columbia Gym was in the basement. Operated by the city parks dept., it provided recreation for youth.

At Columbia Gym, a young Muhammad Ali, then Cassius Clay, told Louisville Police Officer Joe Martin he was going to “whup” whoever stole his bike. Martin became Ali’s first trainer. Martin introduced Ali to regional audiences through the local boxing show, “Tomorrow’s Champions,” and encouraged him to compete in the 1960 Rome Olympics.
 
Erected 2020 by Kentucky Historical Society and Kentucky Department of Highways. (Marker Number 2592.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Parks & Recreational AreasSportsWar, World II. In addition, it is included in the Kentucky Historical Society series list.
 
Location. 38° 
Columbia Gym Marker (Side B) image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, November 26, 2020
2. Columbia Gym Marker (Side B)
14.593′ N, 85° 45.54′ W. Marker is in Louisville, Kentucky, in Jefferson County. Marker is on South 4th Street south of York Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 824 South 4th Street, Louisville KY 40203, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Calvary Episcopal Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Immanuel Baptist Church / First Christian-Lampton Baptist (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); First Unitarian Church (about 400 feet away); Presentation Academy (about 400 feet away); Murray Atkins Walls Civil Rights Pioneer (about 400 feet away); George Denison Prentice (about 500 feet away); Seelbach-Parrish House (approx. ¼ mile away); Noted School Site (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Louisville.
 
Columbia Gym Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, November 26, 2020
3. Columbia Gym Marker
The building now houses Spalding University's basketball and volleyball court, as well as athletic offices and student fitness center, lounge and health clinic. The red bicycle above the entrance represents the iconic Muhammad Ali story.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 3, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 1, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 40 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 1, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.   3. submitted on December 3, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
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Mar. 1, 2021