Women’s Gymnasium Built

Considered one of Anna Hiss’s lasting achievements and a model facility during its day, the Women’s Gymnasium was built in 1931 (The gymnasium was eventually renamed in her honor two years after her death in 1974). Hiss served as a crucial component in planning its construction having traveled, of her own expense, around the country to examine existing gymnasiums. Completed for$400,000, the facility included squash, handball, and basketball courts, dance studios, an archery range, a large swimming pool, and faculty offices. The basketball courts, however, were all undersized, designed to discourage spectators from watching. The baskets were also placed directly against the wall to keep athletes from playing out of control.


Photo credit: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin,di_04647 from the Prints and Photographs Collection