Whitman History 101: Fitness facilities

Whitman’s first gymnasium was built in 1891, where Anderson Hall now stands.

Whitman’s second gymnasium, built in 1905, was torn down in 1970 to clear the way for Olin Hall’s construction.

In his book “The Triumph of Tradition: The Emergence of Whitman College 1859-1924,” G. Thomas Edwards, William Kirkman professor of history emeritus, describes the college’s 1905 gymnasium. The main hall of exercise occupied the second floor. According to the 1905 college catalog, other features included “a bowling alley and cage for baseball practice, and a fine swimming tank, 52 feet long by 26 feet wide, and ranging in depth from 3 feet 6 inches to 8 feet.”

The Baker Ferguson Fitness Center and Louise and Paul Harvey Pool, is a 38,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility that opened in the fall of 2006 at a cost of $10 million. Located north of Cordiner Hall at the corner of Park and Main streets, the facility features two key components: a 10,000-square-foot fitness center with an elaborate array of the latest in weight-training and cardiovascular equipment and a sparkling 30-meter swimming pool with eight competitive lanes and three practice lanes.

Archival images and information are courtesy of the Whitman College and Northwest Archives.