Wednesday, March 31, 2010

More March Madness + Sullivan Fever

Today's basketball images from the Archive come from our extensive Indiana Bridge Company collection, and include a client file card and 1960 newspaper clipping of the Anderson High School gymnasium during construction in Anderson, Indiana, in nearby Madison County. The original structure was destroyed by fire in the late 1950s and it was rebuilt as it stands now, in 1960.

Founded in 1886 and still operating under the name Indiana Bridge-Midwest Steel Inc., Indiana Bridge Company is Muncie's oldest manufacturer. When the Indiana Bridge Company was established by Theodore F. Rose and associates on May 17, 1886, the company built truss bridges not only for the needs of Indiana but nationwide. It later converted to making steel girders for the construction industry. During World Wars I and II, the company participated in the mobilization for the war by producing steel for the United States and its allies.

The client file cards are 4 x 6 inch cards, housed in a ca. 1900s wooden filing cabinet in the Archive. They contain information on all clients of the Indiana Bridge Co. from the beginning of the company until the 1970s. The first column is the job number, the second column is the date, the next column has a description of the job.
This particular file card is interesting due to the notes and extra jobs required due to an "architectural change" and "drawing room error."

Anderson High School is known as the "Anderson Indians" and the gymnasium is called the Wigwam. This massive building seats nearly 9,000 fans and is the second largest high school gymnasium in the country. In case you're wondering, the largest high school gymnasium seats 9,325 people and is located in New Castle, Indiana, which is only about 25 miles away from the Anderson gymnasium. As for the top ten largest high school gyms in the country, only two are located outside Indiana.

Monday, March 29, 2010

March Madness + Sullivan Fever

Here in the Hoosier state, we're suffering from a few afflictions these days. Butler University, located in Indianapolis, has had an exciting men's basketball season and is now slated for the Final Four round of the NCAA Basketball Championship tournament, which will be played this Saturday in Indianapolis. Hoosier hysteria over basketball is widely known, thanks to the film Hoosiers and legendary IU coach Bobby Knight, and Butler's success is whipping the state into a full-on frenzy of all things basketball.

From a recent request here at the archive for drawings of Butler's Hinkle Fieldhouse, an extraordinary structure built in 1928 that was the largest fieldhouse in the country at the time, we learned that we do not have any drawings of that building. We do, however, have material on other gymnasiums and fieldhouses around the state. Every day until Butler's final game, which will hopefully be the championship game, we will add a new basketball-related item in our collection to the blog.

This is a ca. 1960s postcard photograph of Muncie's Fieldhouse, built the same year as Butler's Hinkle Fieldhouse, but with a more traditional design. On the back of the card, it describes it as the "home of the Muncie Bearcats basketball team which has already won five state championships. It was built in 1928 and seats 7,500 people. Muncie is known as the 'Basketball Capital of Indiana'"

Not only used for basketball, the Fieldhouse was home to Eleanor Roosevelt's first visit to Muncie and speech on October 27, 1939. She addressed the challenges facing youth during the Depression. A few years later, in 1942, Abbott and Costello rallied the community in the Fieldhouse to support the war bond effort.

Sullivan fever is hitting the College of Architecture and Planning! The Indiana premiere of Louis Sullivan: The Struggle for American Architecture is just a week away--April 6th at 7:30. The exhibit DiCSX, about the digital recreation of Sullivan's legendary Chicago Stock Exchange building, is up in the gallery. The last day to see the cornice of the building on display will be April 6th. So, come for the film AND the exhibit. Here's a picture from the opening of Prof. Michele Chiuini and his students K.C. Pavlik, Steve Allen, and Jessica Coleman, along with part of the building cornice:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

INDIANA PREMIERE! Louis Sullivan: The Struggle for American Architecture

The Friends of Bracken Library, the College of Architecture and Planning, and the Drawings and Documents Archive invite you to the Indiana premiere of the documentary film Louis Sullivan: The Struggle for American Architecture, followed by a talk with the filmmaker Mark Richard Smith on Tuesday, April 6, 2010. The program will take place in the Architecture Building, room 100, beginning at 7:30.
Come earlier (or stay later!) to see the actual cornice from Sullivan's Chicago Stock Exchange building and the incredible work Architecture Professor Michele Chiuini and John Fillwalk from the Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts, along with their students, are doing to reconstruct the building digitally in the exhibit DiCSX (Digital Chicago Stock Exchange) in the nearby CAP Gallery.

It's all FREE and not to be missed!

Called the father of Modernism, Sullivan revolutionized American building styles in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and is known for coining the Modernist design mantra “form follows function.” Many of his buildings have suffered under the guise of urban renewal, but the buildings that remain are extraordinary examples of a singular vision.

Mark Richard Smith’s new film beautifully articulates the grandeur and importance of Sullivan’s contribution to our architectural history. Clips and more information about the film can be found at Become a fan and follow the progress of the film at Facebook and twitter! The film recently debuted in Chicago (of course!) and you can read an incredible review and see video of the Q and A held after the film. Or just be surprised when you come see the film here at Ball State.

See you April 6th!

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Pantheon Theater, Vincennes, Indiana

The Pantheon Theater building in Vincennes, Indiana, is currently undergoing restoration work. Here's how it looked originally, from photographs in the Archive's Jay C. Bixby Architectural Records Collection.

Friday, March 5, 2010

In looking through an Architectural Record from May 1964, I was struck by this ad for a pneumatic tube communication system promoting architects to use them in their own offices, as well as in offices they design. The idea certainly caught on for drive-through banking, but did it succeed in office design construction?