University of Wisconsin Armory & Gymnasium


 © Photographed October 3, 2015
Erected by Madison Landmarks Commission
Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin
 43.076086,-89.398395
Google Map

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN
ARMORY & GYMNASIUM
Conover and Porter, Architects
1892-1894
This building is significant for its association with the early history of the University of Wisconsin. It exemplifies the castellated medieval fortress variation of the Romanesque Revival style, and is unique for its combination of the armory and gymnasium building types. It is also significant for its association with historical political events, as the site of the 1904 Wisconsin Republican Convention, a seminal event in the history of the Progressive Movement. One of the most visually prominent buildings on campus, it features stepped gables, and towers with crenellated battlements.
Designated September 18, 2007
Madison Landmarks Commission

The marker is inside the entrance to the Armory & Gymnasium, located on westbound Langdon Street, west of its intersection with North Lake Street, at 716 Langdon Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53706.

NOTE: Driving around and parking at the UW-Madison campus can be harrowing. Be sure to check the Google Map (above) and campus maps (below) before heading out.


UW-Madison Map and Parking

National Historic Landmarks Program: University of Wisconsin Armory & Gymnasium
National Register Number: 93001618
Statement of Significance (as of designation - November 4, 1993):
This was the site of the 1904 Wisconsin Republican Convention, a seminal event in the history of the Progressive Movement. At this convention, Robert M. La Follette's Progressives defeated the Stalwarts for control of the Wisconsin Republican Party. Widespread favorable publicity launched La Follette on the national scene. The controversy and legal suit engendered by the "Gymnasium Convention" and La Follette's subsequent vindication by the Supreme Court of Wisconsin led the Progressives to victory that November, giving them a majority in the state legislature the following year. This allowed the enactment of substantial reforms, many of which were subsequently adopted by many states across the Nation.
University of Wisconsin-Madison: International Student Services: History of the Red Gym
The University of Wisconsin Armory and Gymnasium, also called "the Red Gym," is one of the most beautiful and recognizable buildings on the UW-Madison campus; the building houses many student services offices, including International Student Services. 

The Red Gym was originally used as a combination gymnasium and armory beginning in 1894. Designed in the Romanesque revival style, it resembles a red brick castle. It is situated on the shores of Lake Mendota, overlooking Library Mall, and adjacent to Memorial Union.
The Old Red Gym: Gateway to the Future
This document is the "first-ever Historic Structure Report on a state-owned building", completed in the summer of 1992.
  • Built in 1894 at a cost of $127,000 (would cost $3,368,315.28 in 2013)
  • Renovated in 1998, at a cost of $13 million
  • Original purpose was as a military training facility, and athletic and student activity center

Click here for a list of all markers located on the UW-Madison campus.



 Screenshot of vintage postcard provided by CardCow.com.
Gymnasium and Armory, U. of W., Madison, Wis.  

  Screenshot of vintage postcard provided by CardCow.com.
Gymnasium and Armory, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis. 

  Screenshot of vintage postcard provided by CardCow.com.
Armory and Gymnasium, Madison, Wis. 

  Screenshot of vintage postcard provided by CardCow.com.
Armory and Gymnasium, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis.

  Screenshot of vintage postcard provided by CardCow.com.
Gymnasium and Y.M.C.A. Building.
University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis.


 Quite a bit of construction at the time of my visit.


The Armory & Gymnasium is located on the campus of UW-Madison.

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