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Payne-Whitney.jpg

Payne Whitney Gymnasium, 1932
John Russell Pope (1874 – 1937, M.A., Honorary, 1924)

John Russell Pope had bold plans for Yale — his 1919 master plan called for a consistent Gothic aesthetic on campus and the creation of axes and vistas to unify what was at the time a haphazard collection of buildings. Although his vision was never realized in full, the Cross Campus of today is essentially Pope's brainchild; interestingly, had Pope had his way, the Cross Campus would have been home to a large gymnasium. Instead, under the watch of James Gamble Rogers, the Payne Whitney Gymnasium was placed at the edge of the Central Campus, although the commission went to Pope. His building, jokingly referred to as the "Cathedral of Sweat," is almost spiritually Gothic, and its 240-foot-tall tower rising from a broad base is certainly large enough to house all the athletic activities one could imagine.