• James Walsh

Academic Profile: Boyden Gymnasium (now Art Center)


Boyden Gymnasium decorated for its dedication ceremony, 1905. From the Maxwell Library at BSU.
Boyden Gymnasium decorated for its dedication ceremony, 1905. From the Maxwell Library at BSU.

Happy Memorial Day (originally known as Decoration Day)! Here's a patriotic shot of the Albert G. Boyden Gymnasium decorated for its dedication ceremony in 1905.


A.G. Boyden was a graduate and principal of the Bridgewater Normal School (now Bridgewater State University), and he was responsible for expanding its program from teaching to a wide variety of degree programs.


The land underneath the Boyden Gymnasium was originally the front lawn of the First Parish Church. The school bought the land in 1903 and completed the Gymnasium building two years later.

Its architects, Hartwell, Richardson, and Driver, also designed Woodward Hall. They were famous in the greater Boston region for their elaborate brick and stone structures, such as the First Spiritualist Temple (Exeter Street Theater) in Boston. Their design for Boyden Gymnasium includes beautifully crafted brickwork, slate roof shingles, and towers in the Queen Anne style.

Boyden Gymnasium hosted over fifty years' worth of athletic games, physical education classes, and other events.

After the Kelly Gymnasium was completed in 1957, the school's library, which had outgrown its old space in the Administration Building (Boyden Hall), moved into the former Gymnasium. Little of the building's interior changed; its second-floor running track was simply filled with study desks and book stacks.

In 1973, after the library moved into the new Clement C. Maxwell building, the former Gymnasium was again remodeled, this time into an Art Center. It remains an Art Center to this day.


Further Reading

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