Baldwin City Community Center


A space to lead and grow.

original blueprint
original blueprint

A building for the community, built by the community.

Built in 1942 & 1943 as part of the Works Progress Administration Program, the work on the gymnasium was halted when the WPA workers were shifted to a project at the University of Kansas.

A fire  destroyed the Baker University gym on January 3rd, 1943, leaving the High School and College teams with nowhere to play.

Community members pitched in to finish the space, and the first games were played January 29th and 30th, 1943.

This New Deal era gymnasium and auditorium came about twenty years after the school building next to it. Both buildings are now on the National Historic Register, and the old school building is now renovated into an apartment complex.

The gymnasium has an interesting origin story, as it was completed by community members, and it served as host to community memories for decades. In 2020, it was donated to the City of Baldwin City.

A new roof was immediately installed to stop moisture intrusion in the structure.


The vision for this finished project is a civic community space for all, with room for:

  • Indoor movies
  • Community events
  • Meeting space
  • Pop up history displays
  • Casual sports
  • Video game competitions
  • Senior games & exercise
  • Community meals
  • Church activities
  • Indoor concerts
  • Nearly infinite possibilities


For all documents related to this project, go to this link.


Maple Leaf Memorial

A portion of the old maple court from the gymnasium will be repurposed into a memorial wall in the entry way. Get your family name on the new court wall!

  • small leaf - $100
  • medium leaf - $250
  • bigger leaf - $500


Documents & Plans

Click the image for documents & plans related to this project.

Donate Now!

Click to donate to this project through the Douglas County Community Foundation.

Maple Leaf Memorial

A portion of the old maple court from the gymnasium will be repurposed into a memorial wall in the entry way. Get your family name on the new court wall!

  • small leaf - $100
  • medium leaf - $250
  • bigger leaf - $500