National and State Register

Burlington Gymnasium

Kit Carson County

Constructed between 1938 and 1940 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the Burlington Gymnasium represents an important record of the federal relief programs administered on Colorado’s eastern plains during the Great Depression.  Its construction provided much needed employment in Kit Carson County and it is the only extant work relief construction project remaining from the New Deal era in Burlington.  The building exemplifies the efforts of the WPA to boost moral during the Depression through the construction of buildings that could be enjoyed by the entire community. 

A black and white photo of the building with mostly bare facade and vertical depressions with windows on the top and bottom.

Burlington Gymnasium (2004 photograph.)

The WPA created a much needed modern facility for the Burlington School district by providing a gymnasium with a full-size court, a stage for use by school theater and music groups, a kitchen and dining hall, meeting rooms, and a residence for a custodian.  The building is a good example of the Art Deco style as applied to a WPA gymnasium building.  Unlike more elaborate Art Deco buildings featuring terra cotta ornamentation, all of the decoration on the gymnasium was executed in concrete.  Pilasters create a vertical emphasis and incised horizontal lines provide a geometric counterpoint.  Chevron and ziggurat designs decorate the cornice.