Chivalry isn’t dead
Though Bartlett Gymnasium became Bartlett
Dining Commons in 2002, much of its design still celebrates “the
Glory of Manly Sports,” a theme seen in a mural opposite the
east entrance. Meant to inspire the gym’s once all-male athletes,
the mural depicts a medieval sporting tournament, complete with
armored jousters, royal spectators, and trumpeters holding their
brass horns aloft. Augmenting the images are motivational lines
from two poems: “The Character of a Happy Life,” by
Sir Henry Wotton, and “An Hymn In Honour Of Beauty,”
by Edmund Spenser.
When overseeing the building’s transformation,
campus architect Carl Heuring worked with a historic preservation
architectural firm to maintain the building’s Gothic entirety
by keeping its arched windows, battlemented towers, and commemorative
athletic plaques, in addition to the mural.
Plans for the elaborate gym began in 1901, when
trustee Adolphous Clay Bartlett donated $150,000 as a memorial to
his son, Frank, who had died at the age of 20. Then-campus architects
George Shepley, Charles Rutan, and Charles Coolidge designed the
building, employing Frank’s older brother, artist Frederick
Clay Bartlett, to help with the interior decoration and mural.—L.S.S.