Sayles-Hill

Built in 1910 as a gymnasium that also housed a running track and swimming pool, Sayles-Hill was transformed in 1979 into the Carleton student center. The hub of campus life, it now contains a snack bar, bookstore, game room, post office, radio station, and meeting rooms. Students often meet there to lobby for causes or even, sometimes, organize pranks.

One typical spoof occurred in 1976, when the fictitious “Joe Fabeetz” ran for the Carleton Student Senate. When another student protested that Fabeetz was imaginary, students rallied to sweep Fabeetz into office with a landslide vote. Fabeetz’s success attracted media attention from the Star Tribune and the national CBS Morning News.

Since 1976, Joe Fabeetz has kept a low profile, but he occasionally and unpredictably returns to campus to stir up drama. For example, in 1991 he successfully “drew” into a dorm room in Gridley Hall, despite the fact that Gridley was an all-women’s dorm that had been demolished twenty-four years earlier.

When the large open space is not used for meeting friends or playing games, it serves all-school events like weekend dances, blood drives, and fund-raisers.

Images

Sayles-Hill Campus Center

Sayles-Hill Campus Center

Today Sayles-Hill is Carleton's student center, so no matter the weather, students are constantly walking in and out of the building. | Source: Carleton College Digital Archives View File Details Page

Design Sketch

Design Sketch

Architect's original sketch of Sayles-Hill Gymnasium from 1908. | Source: Carleton College Digital Archives View File Details Page

Sayles-Hill Gymnasium

Sayles-Hill Gymnasium

This postcard was created to commemorate the opening dedication of Sayles-Hill Gymnasium in 1910. | Source: Carleton College Digital Archives View File Details Page

Team Portrait

Team Portrait

The Carleton men's basketball team stands in front of Sayles-Hill Gymnasium for a team photo in 1922. | Source: Carleton College Digital Archives View File Details Page

Sayles Dance

Sayles Dance

Sayles-Hill hosted campus dances from its opening until 2011. This picture shows the gym decorated for a dance in 1921. | Source: Carleton College Digital Archives | Creator: Leslie Moore View File Details Page

Portrait of Joe Fabeetz

Portrait of Joe Fabeetz

Joe Fabeetz's election headshot was actually a fifteenth-century woodblock print. | Source: The Voice: Spring 2011 View File Details Page

Modern Sayles-Hill

Modern Sayles-Hill

Sayles is now Carleton's student center. It is a common meeting place, lunch spot, and is also used as a performance space for "Live at Sayles" events held every other Thursday. | Source: Carletonian: January 25, 2013 View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Leslie Moore, “Sayles-Hill,” NorthfieldHistorical, accessed July 23, 2017, http://northfieldhistorical.org/items/show/39.
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