Memorial Gymnasium (Virginia)

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Memorial Gymnasium
Mem Gym
Location 210 Emmet Street South
Owner University of Virginia
Operator University of Virginia
Capacity 2,500
Surface wood court
Opened 1924
Renovated 2005
Architect Fiske Kimball[1]
Virginia Cavaliers (Volleyball and Wrestling)
(Formerly Swimming and Basketball)
Memorial Gymnasium
Memorial Gymnasium (Virginia) is located in Virginia
Memorial Gymnasium (Virginia)
Memorial Gymnasium (Virginia) is located in the United States
Memorial Gymnasium (Virginia)
Location 210 S. Emmett St., Charlottesville, Virginia
Coordinates 38°2′14″N 78°30′27″W / 38.03722°N 78.50750°W / 38.03722; -78.50750Coordinates: 38°2′14″N 78°30′27″W / 38.03722°N 78.50750°W / 38.03722; -78.50750
Area 5.1 acre
Built 1924
Architect Fiske, Kimble, et al.
Architectural style Beaux Arts[2]
NRHP reference # 04001291[2]
VLR # 104-0095
Significant dates
Added to NRHP December 4, 2004
Designated VLR March 17, 2004[3]

Memorial Gymnasium is a 2,500 seat multi-purpose arena in Charlottesville, Virginia. It opened in 1924. It replaced Fayerweather Gymnasium as home to the University of Virginia Cavaliers basketball team until University Hall opened in 1965.


Established originally as a memorial to the University's World War I casualties, the facility continues to play a role in the athletic, recreational and physical education-kinesiology programs at the school. The classes of 1920 and 1921 pledged a collected total of $142,000 in support of the gymnasium as a memorial and construction was completed in 1924.[4] From its completion, the gymnasium housed a variety of sporting and social activities, including basketball, boxing and dances.[5] The basketball program was housed in the building for 42 seasons before University Hall opened in 1965. It was also the past home of the swimming and dive teams[clarification needed] and indoor track teams. After renovations, the building - now used extensively by the University's intramural programs – also serves as the home arena for the Cavaliers' wrestling and women's volleyball teams.

Memorial Gym was the site of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Stab in the Back" speech[6] on June 10, 1940, when, in the middle of giving his commencement address to the graduating class, he was informed of the alliance between Italy and Nazi Germany.[6]

Current usage

Currently, Memorial Gymnasium, commonly known as Mem Gym to Virginia students, hosts the school wrestling and volleyball teams, and is also used by the school as an intramural sports venue.[citation needed] The building includes a small weight room, including cardiovascular machines, and boxing practice facilities, as well as an indoor wooden jogging track on the second floor that overlooks the single court from the second floor. The swimming pool was also primarily used prior to the construction of the Aquatic and Fitness Centre. The swimming pool was finally closed in 2007[clarification needed] and converted into an indoor soccer ground.

Recent renovations

An anonymous gift of $845,500 provided for extensive improvements to the building.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ "Memorial Gymnasium National Register Nomination" (PDF). Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved 13 June 2012.
  2. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  3. ^ "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Archived from the original on 2013-09-21. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
  4. ^ Dabney, Virginius (1981). Mr. Jefferson's University: A History. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press. p. 66. ISBN 0-8139-0904-X. [permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Dabney, 87, 89, 113.
  6. ^ a b ""Stab in the Back" Speech (June 10, 1940)". Miller Center of Public Affairs. Archived from the original on September 13, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-15.

External links

  • Memorial Gym at
  • Memorial Gym at
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