Roble Gymnasium to receive Preservation Design Award

Stanford’s ROBLE GYMNASIUM, located on Santa Teresa Street, will be presented with the prestigious Preservation Design Award for Rehabilitation at the 2018 California Preservation Awards.

Roble Gym (Image credit: Linda A. Cicero)

The California Preservation Awards showcase the best in historic preservation, recognizing significant achievements in architecture, history, design and engineering. According to a press release from the California Preservation Foundation, the Roble Gymnasium Rehabilitation Project exemplifies these achievements and is an important contribution to the preservation of California’s rich and diverse historic resources.

Award recipients are selected by a jury of professionals in the fields of architecture, engineering, planning and history, as well as renowned architecture critics and journalists. In making its decision, the jury stated: “This is a gorgeous building and an impressive project!”

The award will be presented at an October awards ceremony in Los Angeles.

Roble Gymnasium re-opened in fall 2016 as an arts building. Originally constructed in 1931 as the women’s gymnasium, the building underwent a $28 million renovation that created new theatrical performance spaces, dance studios, rehearsal spaces and classrooms. Roble houses, for instance, the Roble Studio Theater, a large black box theater, and the offices for Theater and Performance Studies.

Roble’s original function was to foster rejuvenation and health for Stanford women in the days before women’s intercollegiate sports. In those days, women’s athletic programs were geared toward relaxation and a well-rounded life, not high-level competition. At Roble, Stanford women could learn badminton, fencing, tennis and other sports in the modesty of an all-female environment. The gym quickly became beloved on campus for its Mediterranean ambiance, its interior courtyard fountain and the natural light from its enormous windows. It became co-ed in the 1970s.

During its history, the building has had a mix of users, including the Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation, the Drama Department’s dance division, the university’s Health Improvement Program (HIP) and students and employees on the west side of campus who simply wanted to work out.

Learn more about the award and the organization on the California Preservation Foundation website.