Guild Hall (Old Gymnasium)

Guild Hall, 1908 Guild Hall, 1937 Guild Hall, 2007

Guild Hall, 1908, 1937, 1939 and 2007 (click thumbnails for larger images)

For historical photos, click here.

Building Chronology

Architect: Charles R. Aldrich, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Contractor: John Heimann, Saint Cloud, Minnesota


Guild Hall (Old Gymnasium) was constructed in 1901 in a variant on the Medieval Revival style of architectural design (the architect, Charles Aldrich, also designed the Armory Building at the University of Minnesota) with Menominee pressed brick upon a massive granite foundation. The building originally measured 120 by 93 feet and was divided into two halls (with an elevated track running around the entire hall at an elevation of nine feet). The gymnasium became the site for handball, basketball, indoor baseball, tennis and other games. There were two bowling alleys in the basement and the second floor contained a billiard room. In 1937, the gymnasium was moved from its original location (between the Science Hall and the Quadrangle Building) to 150 feet west. It was cut in two, north to south, and the openings were filled in to widen the gym by 25 feet. The building served the purposes of the campus until 1949 when it was decided that an expansion was needed and 32 feet were added to the north side of the building. After the final renovation, two basketball courts were available and 1500 people could be seated for indoor athletic events. When the Warner Palaestra was built in 1972, the gymnasium underwent a few changes in purpose: rather than the center of varsity sports, it hosted a variety of intramural sports, dances, and receptions. In 1986, the U.S Post Office was relocated to Guild Hall so Wimmer Hall could accommodate Administrative Computing. Guild Hall currently houses the offices of the student newspaper, The Record,the Collegeville U.S. Post Office, and the Military Science Department (Army ROTC.) Guild Hall is named after the Saint John’s Workers Guild, (organized in 1943 for the benefit of the lay employees) and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.