big old gymnasium at 39th and archer
Date: February 08, 2010 09:51PM
someone posted pics on flickr which re-started up my curiosity about this place.
there is a giant, freestanding gymnasium at 39th and archer avenue. the building has an ambiguously churchlike countenance, and the front cornices feature faux-classical sculptures of boys representing sport - one in a circa 1920's football helmet, the other holding a tennis racket. when i was small they used to hold bingo there, and my mother would take me along. i do remember a large old stage area toward the front. i've only seen a couple references to it online, one as Our Lady of Fatima, the other as "St Agnes Gym", which sounds more familiar. an old sign in the window of questionable obsolescence refers to "Our Lady of Fatima/Daniel Byrnes Social Center Bingo".
looking at historicaerials, that corner, the building, and its parking lot appear to be virtually unchanged back to 1939, so there were no other buildings or institutions attached to the property. was this gym always associated with a church or did it start as a secular institution? anyone?