Up until 1927, the gym of Des Moines Universtiy was housed in the basement of the Arts and Science Hall. The ceilings were so low that basketball players had to bank shots off the ceiling to score (1). Dr. Frank E. Folk, president of the Alumni and Patron Club, pushed to get a more suitable accommodation for the athletes of Des Moines University (2).
When the school was sold to a developer in the 1950s, the gym was the only building to survive the razing. It’s been a number of things over the years including an auto store (3), and currently a daycare center.
Over the next couple of weeks, I will post several photos of the gym during different time periods.
(1) Cardaro, Tony. “Once Banked Cage Shots Off Ceiling.” Des Moines Tribune. Des Moines, Iowa: 28 January 1955, p. 16. Newspapers.com. Accessed: 17 October 2017.
(2) “Des Moines University’s New Field House to be Opened Tonight.” Des Moines Tribune. Des Moines, Iowa: 05 January 1927, p. 10. Newspapers.com Accessed: 17 October 2017.
(3) Lancaster, John. with photographs by Chuck Anderson. “Douglas, Euclid–A Big Change.” Des Moines Tribune. Des Moines, Iowa: 13 April 1982, p. 22. Newspapers.com. Accessed: 17 October 2017.
The photograph above was taken of Childs Hall in March of 1955. This was the final building to be razed due to an agreement between the remaining Lawsonomists and the developer so the Lawsonomists could find other housing.