Full Name

Dormer Gym

Centennial Expansion (2015)
Alternative names

Fitness Center

Weight Room

Room Code


The Dormer Gym, as it has been known, sits on the third floor of the house, directly above the Ashley Reading Room. It features a full array of free weights and machines for the use of all members. The current gym is new construction, featuring a reinforced floor and windows that open out onto the Gorge side of the house.

The name derives from the original location of the house weight room, in the disused third floor dorm, which had come to be called the “Dormer” by the mid-1980s. The actives converted that space a weight room in the fall of 1995. In the 2015 renovation, the gym was moved to its current location, and the old dorm subdivided into three new student rooms.


Like most Cornell fraternities, brothers all used to sleep in bunks in a common dormitory, but this system fell out of favor after the 1970s. The final nail in the proverbial coffin of the dormitory system came when the CIty inspector declared— not without irony— that it was unsuitable for use as sleeping quarters. Thus presented with the question of what to do with this capacious but unheated space, the brothers decided to convert it to a weight room in the fall of 1995.

While the third floor of a century-old house was in some obvious respects a suboptimal location for a weight room, brothers appreciated the light and air it afforded, not to mention its convenience. When the Centennial renovation was first mooted, calls came in from brothers across the generations to keep the gym upstairs and not in a dank basement. The new space, with its specially reinforced floors, allows the gym to be retained on the third floor and in a more compact area.