The Enyart Field House at Rollins College
The Enyart Field House at Rollins College in Winter Park is no more. It was totally remodeled, enlarged and renamed in 2001. The Rollins College archives describes the its history complete with photographs. Here is an excerpt:
“During the late 1950s, Rollins saw an increasing demand for a new field house to meet the need of a large student population on campus. In 1961, the school received the first donation towards such a facility in memory of Arthur Delano Enyart (’49H), a well respected and beloved Dean of Men at Rollins from 1931 to 1950, who just past away. Six years later when all funding was secured, a groundbreaking ceremony was held on March 18, 1967. Completed a year later, the 37,000-square foot building contained a basketball court seating 2,500, and classrooms as well as offices for the Physical Education Department. The first basketball game to be played in the new field house was against Stetson, and Rollins won 77-72. For over the next three decades, the Enyart Filed Alumni Field House served as the preferred place for large events on campus. Finally in 2001, when the school received a large donation from Harold and Ted Alfond, the field house was extensively renovated, enlarged and renamed after the Alfond family.”
There were amazing rock and roll concerts at the field house! Greats like Harry Chapin and Billy Preston performed there in the early 1970s. The field house, due to its compact size, offered seating that allowed for a more personal setting than concert halls, arena’s or stadiums. You didn’t need binoculars or big screens (non-existent at the time) to see the performers.
Enyart Alumni Field House at Rollins College was totally revamped and enlarged to make way for the new Harold and Ted Alfond Sports Center 2000. The Enyart Field House provided the Central Florida area with a much needed venue for rock and pop performers. Many of us have great memories of musical performers like Billy Preston who entertained a packed house.
Darla Moore from Rollins College was able to pinpoint the actual date of the Billy Preston concert. The February 1, 1974 edition of the Tarpaper newsletter reported that Billy Preston was scheduled to appear in concert “on Saturday night (February 16) at 8:30 in the College fieldhouse.”
As of January 2016, the new home for the Billy Preston program is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland “where the heart of rock ‘n’ roll is still beating!” You don’t have to go there to see it though – you can see it here.
There were many concerts at the Enyart Field House but the two above were my favorites.
Comments from the Original Orlando Memory site