an undergradute at Princeton I grew to love the Palestra, that old
arena on the fringe of the Penn campus. Id regularly take
road trips down for the games between the Ivy Leagues two
elite teams. But I found myself sneaking off to Philadelphia even
when my own school wasnt a party to the doubleheaders that
still filled the place on chilly evenings. As manufactured rivalries
between members of the arriviste Big East began elbowing Big
Five matchups out of the spotlight, I hoped fervently for a
Palestra renaissance. So it was that, when I swung through the building
for the book, I stumbled upon a game for the ages.
Several years ago Penn turned the buildings old concourses
into a museum worthy of the place. Here Quaker athletic director
Steve Bilsky poses alongside some of the many images on display
from the Palestras past.