Built in 1919, Lindblom Technical High School, now Linblom Math and Science Academy, is a beautiful Beaux-Arts building located on Chicago’s South Side in the West Englewood neighborhood. Eagles’ alum and students are well known for their call-back when someone says Lindblom “Swoop Swoop.”
As like so many gyms built before the 1920s, spectators at basketball games wasn’t really a major concern for building engineers and architects. Fitness and exercise was, so the small Maroon Gym, aka “The Nest”, is a room with a low ceiling and an even lower running-track around the edges of the court.
You will not see another gym like this that is still in use anywhere in the state.
Base-line threes aren’t an option here and your half-court shot better be a laser, because even if its under the support beams, it still has to get past the lights. I can’t imagine volleyball being played here.
The greatest part about the nickname of the gym is, if you were to look at the gym from above, the short oval track and its chain-fence almost resemble a giant eagle’s nest. Although opposing players & coaches might refer to it more as Thunderdome, as the students are relegated to the track and during a packed game can be 2-3 people deep against a railing that is directly over the playing floor in spots.
The sound in this gym is another aspect of intimidation. If they don’t have a DJ court-side, they have a drum-line and dance team on the track.
Lindblom has a storied history as a school that has been around for over 100 years, but despite some good players and a few good years, the basketball team has little post season hardware. They made state in the 1941-42 season, took home 3A Regional titles in 2009, as well as the 2011 sectional championship team, which was their last plaque. However they fell short of a 3A Regional title in 2021-22 with a 3-point loss to Nazareth Academy.
A trophy case on the main floor by the front entrance however highlights a time when Lindblom was a school whose sports teams were not an opponent you wanted to play. It’s worth a look at on your way to the gym if not for the old leather football helmet and trophies from the 1930s.