Erection of the Beams of the Memorial Field House at Springfield College
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In the photograph taken by Frank MacCarthy, five beams of the Memorial Field House have already been erected since the first beam was raised on July 29, 1947. The whole frame for the building was finished by September 8, 1947. There are two cranes in the photograph, one is on the left of the photograph, and the other one is in the middle. Several builders are trying to hook the sixth beam to the crane. Wood arches are piled and covered by cloth, lying on the ground. A scaffold is standing under the five beams, builders on the top of the scaffold, are working on the connection of the beams. 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 the drill hall through Public Law 697, a law that distributed war time surplus for civilian use, 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 is 140 x 80 feet of permanent maple flooring and could accommodate 5 volleyball, or 9 badminton, or 3 basketball courts, or some combination of the three courts. The Arena area comprises 230 feet of open earth surface for field events and had the ability up to accommodate 4000 spectators at public events and basketball games. The Class and Game Room area has spaces for offices and temporary classrooms which could also be converted to specialized game rooms for boxing, wrestling, fencing, and calisthenics. The building was demolished in 1979 due to the fact that the wood arch could not meet minimum building code requirements. A new Physical Education Complex replaced the Memorial Field House, and was formally dedicated on October 30, 1981. The photograph is probably taken between the end of July and the beginning of September, due to dates of other photographs in the collection and the amount of work that has been completed.
|Springfield College Archives and Special Collections|
Memorial Field House
International Young Men's Christian Association College
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