Boyden, Albert Gardner Memorial Gymnasium

2 School St

1903

Architectural Style

Queen Anne

Significance

Architecture, Education, Recreation

Use Type

College or University, Sports Facility

Neighborhood

Bridgewater Town Center, Bridgewater State University

Massachusetts Historical Commission Report

Architectural Significance

The Bridgewater State College Art Center was built in 1903-1905 to house a gymnasium. Possessing a cross axial plan, this building is characterized by an interesting, irregular form and well crafted brickwork. Its facades are enlivened by stone string courses and round arched windows. Rising 2 1/2 stories to a wide gable, its 3 bay main facade is flanked by low octagional towers. Substantial, multi panel chimneys project from its slate shingle covered roof. This building is part of the Bridgewater State College campus collection of structures dating back from the mid 19th century to the 1970s.

Historical Significance

This building has historical associations with Albert Gardner Boyden, graduate (1849) and principal of the Bridgewater Normal School (later Bridgewater State College) from 1860-1906. Under Boyden's leadership this institution grew from a small normal school to a large "general purpose college" with a graduate program offering a variety of degrees. Built as a gymnasium, this is the last building erected under Mr. Boyden's direction. Its land, formerly the First Parish Church's lawn, was purchased in 1903. It was dedicated June 24, 1905. It was named the Albert Gardner Boyden Memorial gymnasium upon Mr. Boyden's death in 1915.