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This Romanesque building in Middletown, Connecticut was designed by J. Cleaveland Cady, the architect of NYC’s original Metropolitan Opera House and the American Museum of Natural History’s south wing. Built in 1889, this gymnasium came about in what’s considered the “second wave of modern gymnasium building” to occur throughout American universities in the 19th century. Physical education, as we know it within the school system, had come to the U.S. from Germany. A Prussian exile named Charles Follen had brought the German concept of physical education to Harvard, resulting in its first gym in 1826. The century followed with a further influx of German immigration and as a result, gymnasiums popped up all around the country with every elite college building their own.

Photo by IG @youngspeeze

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