Palmer Field and the Women's Athletic Building

Palmer Field field hockey.jpg

Women playing field hockey on Palmer Field

Despite the great improvements to women's recreation that Barbour Gymnasium provided, 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 $3,000 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 women students. In 1975, the building was demolished to make way for the Central Campus Recreation Building.3

Women's Athletic Building Palmer.jpg

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,