Burlington Gymnasium – Burlington CO

Project type: Civic Facilities
Quality of Information:
Site Survival:
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“The rectangular-plan gymnasium measures 137 x 70. The gymnasium is two-stories tall, with a balcony level above the main gym floor. There is a full basement. The building has a reinforced concrete footing, foundation, and skeleton. WPA-made concrete blocks form the curtain walls and partitions. Adobe blocks are used for some of the basement partition walls. Stucco covers the exterior walls. The gymnasium is covered with a wood truss barrel roof; it is covered with asphalt roll roofing. Flat roofs cover the west and east ends of the building where the lobby and stage are located.

The concrete exterior is demarcated by wide horizontal bands and engaged pilasters that extend slightly above the parapet roof; low-relief horizontal ridges mark the raised foundation. A horizontal fluted band crowns the pilasters. Windows are set within the recessed panels between these pilasters. The recessed panels above the entrances and at the third bay from the corners on the north and south sides are topped by an Art Deco-inspired ziggurat crenellation…

Constructed by the WPA, the Burlington Gymnasium presents an important record of the federal relief programs administered in Colorado’s eastern plains during the Great Depression. The construction of the gymnasium provided much-needed employment in Kit Carson County. The New Deal construction programs emphasized projects providing civic, educational, and health benefits for a community. During these difficult times, New Deal agencies also recognized the psychological benefits of recreational and cultural activities. It was also significant as the only extant work-relief construction project remaining from the New Deal era in Burlington.

…The gymnasium served the high school until 1965 and then served the elementary school until 1999, holding physical education classes, athletic events, school theater and music productions, and school dances.

…Construction began in March 1938 with plans to complete the gymnasium by June 1939. With construction projected to last more than a year (and in actuality taking much longer than that), the gymnasium project was a significant source of employment in Burlington. Unskilled laborers were paid $40 per month. Carpenters, masons, and cement finishers were paid $55 per month. These laborers worked 110 hours per month. The plasterer, plumber, and electrician were paid $100 per month and the foreman $145.”
– coloradopreservation.org

Project Details

Federal Cost Local Cost Total Cost Project #'s
35808 11190 46998

Source notes

National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: (https://www.historycolorado.org/sites/default/files/media/documents/2018/5kc208.pdf).

"New Deal Resources on Colorado's Eastern Plains," The Colorado Historical Society, Burlington Gym: (https://www.historycolorado.org/location/burlington-gymnasium).

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

1000 Senter Ave.
Burlington, CO 80807

Location notes:
The building sits next to Burlington Elementary School. It was used by the high school until 1965 and then the elementary school until 1999. The building is still standing.

Coordinates: 39.3045942, -102.26273170000002

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