Gizmo Patio's 52-Year History

June 26, 2012

This summer the Gizmo patio is seeing a facelift as the seventeen-year-old wood deck is getting replaced with concrete pavers. The patio has become a mainstay for students and faculty to enjoy a lunch in the sun, meet friends, or enjoy one of the many events that happen there during the year. Over the past 52 years the space has seen numerous updates to its appearance. Here are some highlights from its past as the patio moves into a new phase of its life.

1958 artist rendition of the Gizmo patio from the April 25, 1958 The Knox Student

Construction of the Gizmo and the patio during the summer of 1960

1958: The plan for a patio to go along with a new modern addition to the Seymour Union will allow for, "skating in the winter and dances and outdoor dining, from the snack bar in the Gizmo in warmer weather," The Knox Student reported on April 25.

1959: Plans for patio along with basement bowling alley postponed due to lack of money, The Knox Student reported on Sept. 15.

Summer 1960: $30,000 gift from the Knox Alumni Association allows for skating rink and basement bowling alley to be completed, Alumnus (precursor to the Knox Magazine) reported.

Students enjoy skating on the Gizmo patio during the first winter after its construction in 1960.

Fall 1960: The Gizmo and patio open in style of "an alpine ski lodge."

Winter 1960: The Gizmo patio was used for the first time as an ice skating rink for students to enjoy during the winter months.

1970's: Patio furniture was replaced as a part of a remodel of the Gizmo.

Winter 1981: The Gizmo patio was last flooded for an ice rink. The rink was occasionally flooded and naturally frozen mainly for ice hockey, after artificial freezing became too expensive.

Works place bricks on the Gizmo patio in June 2012.

Summer 1995: A wood deck installed on the Gizmo patio, covering the original concrete.

2002: Patio lights were updated to the current style, providing more light for the area. The southeast corner ramp was installed as well.

Summer 2012: The Gizmo patio's wood deck is replaced with concrete pavers.

Archived photographs and information courtesy of the Knox College Archives.