The athletic field that is immediately behind the Bland-Bryant Building and today's Administration Building is formally known as the Wetmer Bowl (after the Silas W. Weltmer, Superintendent 1935 - 1949). This still-popular park was begun in1936, and was completed in 1945. According to one report, 90% of the work required to build the Weltmer Bowl was done by the patients of the Bland-Bryant Building -- at almost no cost to the State. Originally, the bowl included a standard baseball field, as well as several softball fields and a picnic area. The Gazebo, which overlooks the playing fields and has become Spring Grove's trademark structure, was built in 1944. It was originally intended for use as a bandstand, and is labeled by that name on period maps. In addition, the lower level of the Gazebo provided restrooms for the spectators. A tennis court was also located at the top of the hill, behind the spectators' area. The tennis court, evidently built in the 1920s, predated the Weltmer Bowl by a number of years. Remnants of the old tennis court can still be spotted today on the lawn between the Administration Building and the Bland-Bryant Building. To see the Weltmer Bowl in 2000, click HERE.
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