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:

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