Palmer Field and the Women's Athletic Building

Women's Field Hockey on Palmer Field, 1957

Women playing field hockey on Palmer Field

Despite the great improvement to women's recreation that Barbour Gymnasium provided to campus, more outdoor space was needed for the growing number of women on campus. In 1908, the Women's League purchased the field known as "Sleepy Hollow" and named it Palmer Field after Senator Thomas W. Palmer, who contributed $3000 to the acquisition.1 League President Frieda Kleinstuck, Treasurer Myrtle White, and other members of the Women's League worked tirelessly to fundraise to cover the costs of the field.2 

In 1928 the Women's Athletic Building was completed at the south end of Palmer Field. It served as a field house for athletics for the women students. In 1975, the building was demolished to make way for the Central Campus Recreation Building.3

Women's Athletic Bldg.

Women's Athletic Building

 

1. Letter to the President and Board of Regents from the Women's League, 1909, Frieda Kleinstuck correspondence, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.

2. Subscription for the Women's Recreation Field, 1909, Frieda Kleinstuck correspondence, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.

3. “Women's Athletic Building,” Bentley Historical Library, accessed June 14, 2016, http://bentley.umich.edu/legacy-support/campus_tour/womensathletic.php.