Change and the UBC War Memorial Gym

The War Memorial Gym is one of the few buildings on UBC’s campus that has withstood the plans of developers and administrators to demolish and replace structures that show the least age.

As you will see in the photos below, however, there were changes to the plans for a Memorial Gym in the years following WWII. And changes otherwise touched the Gym.

How much longer can the Memorial Gym continue to stand?

A very early artist’s impression of the exterior of UBC War Memorial Gym. From UBC Visitors’ Day brochure. March 2nd 1946. MDM Collection.
A very different artist’s impression of the War Memorial Gym, this time showing an attached enclosure where an envisioned pool, office space, bowling alley etc. were envisioned. The enclosure would not be built when the auditorium was constructed in 1951. The Empire Pool would occupy that space starting in 1954. From UBC’s The Alumni Chronicle, Dec 1948. UBC Open Collections,
Floor plan, War Memorial Gym. Sept 1950. UBC Open Collection.
VPL 43668 British Empire Games outdoor swimming pool (to be known simply as Empire Pool) and War Memorial Gym at UBC. 1954. Province Newspaper.
Aerial View of War Memorial Gym. 1962. Peter Holborne photo. Memorial Hall is clear above. It is the slightly lower attachment to the auditorium adjacent to Empire Pool.
View of War Memorial Gym and General Services Admin Building. 1973. GSAB was built in 1969 and stood until ca2017. GSAB was demolished to make way for new residences for students.
Remembrance Day at War Memorial Gym. 1977. Jim Barnham photo. This shows part of Memorial Hall. There are plaques in this space which show the names of students who fought and fell in WWI and WWII.
Laying a new floor in War Memorial Gym auditorium. 1980.
Student Registration in War Memorial Gym. 1980. Jim Barnham photo.
View of Audience in War Memorial Gym during Billy Graham’s Crusade at UBC. 1984.
Convocation ceremony: Congregation procession leaving War Memorial Gym. Between 1980-1989.
Eastern perimeter of War Memorial Gym (with storage rooms beneath auditorium seats for gym equipment etc.). Jan 2016. MDM photo.
Empire Pool (viewed from Memorial Gym) emptied and ready for demolition. 2016. MDM Photo.
Demolition of the General Services Admin Building with War Memorial Gym in background. ca 2017. MDM Photo. A final concrete vertical pillar had temporarily been converted into a public announcement display and a bench. Later, the land would be re-developed into new student residences.

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