Physical Education Building/La Crosse State Normal School

Also known as: Wittich Hall,University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
UW La Crosse Campus off US 16, La Crosse, Wisconsin

Former physical education building about to undergo major remodeling and repurposing


Overview Looking Southeast

Wittich Hall is located just north of Maurice O. Graff Main Hall and just northeast of Morris Hall. It is surrounded by old growth deciduous trees that give the building an appearance of a college building in a James Stewart or Disney movie.

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in July 2017




This 32,000 square foot building was designed in the Collegiate Gothic style that was popular at the time of its construction. A large addition was constructed on the south end of the building in 1930, containing a second pool, gymnasium and locker rooms to accommodate the growing enrollment of women to the normal school. Wittich Hall was named for director of the La Crosse School of Physical Education from 1918 to 1954, Walter J. Wittich.

A greatly enlarged and modern physical education building, Mitchell Hall, opened in 1965.

The first pool was filled in and converted to office and storage space. A student on campus told me that Wittich Hall is about to undergo major repurposing as a high tech training facility.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on April 11, 1985
Reference number
Architectural style
Other architectural type; Collegiate Gothic
Areas of significance
Education; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic functions
College; Sport facility
Current function
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1925-1949
Significant years
1916; 1930

Update Log 

  • July 16, 2017: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status, added description and added photos.