Lost History Of Columbus: The Armory And Gymnasium At The Ohio State University
The Ohio State University's Armory and Gymnasium, built 1898, is a fine example of the French Feudal architectural style. Photos via CML
There used to be an epic castle on campus at the Ohio State University.
Designed by renowned local architect Frank L. Packard, the Armory and Gymnasium at the Ohio State University opened in 1898. The building was designed to look like a medieval castle and it was imposing.
The Armory was a multipurpose facility used for military science, men’s and women’s physical education, men’s basketball, and even social events.
The building was constructed for $115,000. It never had an official name, but it was known as the Gymnasium and Armory, the Naval Armory, The Military Department Building, and many more throughout the years.
The first department to call the building home was the OSU men’s basketball team. During World War I, the building was taken over by the military. The basketball team moved to the Coliseum at the Ohio State Fairgrounds in 1920 and the building became home to the Department of Military Science. Over the years, the “castle” hosted campus dances, commencement ceremonies, and intramural sports.
The building was a fixture on campus for nearly 60 years, before it was demolished in 1959 after a fire the previous year. The land where the Armory once stood sat empty for years, until becoming home to the Wexner Center for the Arts.
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