Halsey Hall

Halsey Hall

28 West Jefferson Street, Iowa City, IA

Before the construction of Halsey Hall, the women’s gymnasium had been confined to a small space in the basement of Schaeffer Hall known as the Crypt. With a new building and the advent of Elizabeth Halsey as director of women’s physical education (a post she held from 1924 until 1956), the athletic life of female students at the University of Iowa was transformed.


Mildred Wirt Benson at Halsey Hall

During Mildred’s time in Iowa City, Halsey Hall was the women’s gymnasium, where Mildred participated in her athletic activities. In her article ‘Our Sardines’, Benson writes about how the women’s pool, then located in Halsey Hall, did not accommodate the popularity and success of women’s swimming. She wrote that if they cannot have adequate practice space, “they should at least be praised for the progress made in spite of handicap”.

Mildred Augustine, “Our Sardines, Mid 1920s,” Mildred Benson Files, Iowa Women’s Archives, Iowa City, Iowa