Alumni Athletic Field

Title

Alumni Athletic Field

Subject

[no text]

Description

What is now Haigis Mall was merely an open field at the University’s inception. Later, it became the Alumni Athletic Field, and finally Haigis Mall. Located to the East of Lincoln Avenue, and South of Ellis Drive, neither of which run through the campus anymore, what would eventually become the Alumni Athletic Field, and eventually Haigis Mall, appeared on the 1913 campus map merely as the “Athletic Field.” As of 1935, Alumni Athletic Field was first given its official name. Images from the 1943 Massachusetts State College yearbook show a dirt covered track with a soccer field in the center.

When the university campus expanded following WWII to accommodate the large number of veterans who were entering as students, the athletic facilities were not ignored. The Alumni Athletic Field grew to include a baseball diamond, track, and soccer fields. A new parking lot was also built nearby.

In the 1960s, UMass-Amherst was gearing for the most rapid expansion the campus had ever seen. The university hired architect Hideo Sasaki to develop a master plan to modernize UMass. Alumni Athletic Field and the Southern Parking Area were to be destroyed and the Whitmore Administration building was constructed to the west of where the field had stood, while the Business Administration Building was built to the east of the site. As Whitmore was being constructed, students continued to play soccer on the Alumni Athletic Field. Sasaki intended for the Whitmore Administration Building to “provide visual unity to the wide expanse” of the Mall.

In the late 1960s and early 70s, the area that had once been the Alumni Athletic Field was shaped into the campus we know today. Haigis Mall, Herter Hall, and the Fine Arts Center were being constructed where students had once played sports. Today, Haigis Mall serves as a popular bus stop for the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA). As one proceeds South, Haigis Mall currently is a grassy peaceful paradise where it is common for University students to study on a sunny day. Flags fly over the southern portion of Haigis Mall and there are shrubs which spell the initials for UMass Amherst.

In summary, what began as an open field and a quiet, peaceful portion of grassland was transformed over the course of a century into a revamped and modern portion of a college campus. While the Alumni Athletic Field was destroyed due to the construction of Whitmore and the Fine Arts Center, other athletic fields were built towards the western end of campus. Following the destruction of Alumni Athletic Field, Haigis Mall became a wonderful environment in which scholars could walk and socialize between classes. Unfortunately for some, it is clear Haigis Mall will forever confuse and disappoint freshman students who are looking to go shopping on campus.

Creator

[no text]

Source

UMass Special Collections and University Archives

Publisher

[no text]

Date

[no text]

Contributor

[no text]

Rights

[no text]

Relation

[no text]

Format

[no text]

Language

[no text]

Type

[no text]

Identifier

RG150-0003728, RG141-0009468

Coverage

[no text]

Original Format

[no text]

Physical Dimensions

[no text]

Files

RG150-0003728.png
RG141-0009468.png
Date Added
December 5, 2012
Collection
Southwest Campus & Commonwealth Avenue
Item Type
Still Image
Citation
“Alumni Athletic Field,” Lost UMass, accessed May 29, 2017, http://lostumass.omeka.net/items/show/68.