"Skylab Fell Here," demolition of the Memorial Field House, 1979
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A photograph of workers demolishing the Memorial Field House. The photograph was taken by ED Malley in 1979. There are four workers in the photograph, one worker is using an electric welding to cut off the steel in the side wall. On the roof of the field house there is a sign saying "sky lab fell here". Skylab was a first US space station launched and operated by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration since 1973. However, Skylab was not repaired in time, and in July 11, 1979, it reentered the earth atmosphere and the pieces fell into the Indian Ocean and Western Australia. The sign on the field house shows a sense of humor about the fall of the Skylab, that instead of being demolished by the workers, it is the pieces of the Skylab that demolished the building. In January 1979, Harvey and Tracy Associates of Worcester, Massachusetts was hired to conduct an in-depth structural analysis and the report was delivered on April 27, 1979, concluded that the lamination of the wood arches had disintegrated and/or had no glue to hold the laminated boards together. The Springfield building commissioner Charles G. Cook Jr. then proceeded to revoke all certificates of inspection, thereby closing the building and demanding that it be demolished on May 11, 1979. The Memorial Field House was originally used as a basic training facility by the US Navy at Sampson, New York. In 1946, Springfield College qualified for a drill hall and the government disassembled and transported the building to Springfield College. The field house was opened on February 21, 1948. On that day the first basketball game was held in the new arena, with Springfield College playing Providence College. William R. Chase, a member of the first group of men to play basketball in 1891, tossed the ceremonial first ball. The building was divided into three sections: the Gymnasium area, the Arena area, and the Class and Game Room area. The Gymnasium area was 140 x 80 feet and could accommodate 5 volleyball, or 9 badminton, or 3 basket ball courts. The arena area comprised 230 feet of open earth surface for field events and had the ability to accommodate 4000 spectators at public events. The class and game room area had space for offices and temporary class-rooms. The building was demolished in 1979, a new Physical Education Complex replaced the Memorial Field House, and was formally dedicated on October 30, 1981.
- Malley, ED
- Digital Commonwealth
- Contributing Institution
- Springfield College Archives and Special Collections
- Spingfield College
- Memorial Field House
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- Chicago citation style
- Malley, ED. "Skylab Fell Here," demolition of the Memorial Field House, 1979. 1979-06. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America, http://cdm16122.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15370coll2/id/2860. (Accessed July 19, 2018.)
- APA citation style
- Malley, ED, (1979-06) "Skylab Fell Here," demolition of the Memorial Field House, 1979. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America, http://cdm16122.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15370coll2/id/2860
- MLA citation style
- Malley, ED. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America <http://cdm16122.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15370coll2/id/2860>.