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1926–1928, Day and Klauder. 20 S. 32nd St.

The extent of Penn's investment in big-time sports in the 1920s is further evidenced by its indoor arena, the “Palestra,” a term devised by Penn classicist William Bates to invoke the place where Greek athletes prepared for competition. The court is a rectangle clearspanned by arched steel trusses that recall the industrial base of the culture that paid for sport while the exterior is a simplified Federal mode in the familiar red brick with light-hued cast stone. Long the home of “Big Five” basketball, the unique bragging rights league of local colleges, it is one of the preeminent halls of sport in the nation.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "Palestra", [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 133-133.

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