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Feldman, Jim / The buildings of the University of Wisconsin

Stock Pavillion,   pp. 115-116

Page 115

Fig. 1. Stack Pavilion shortly after completion c. 1915. series 9/3 Stock Pavilion, jf-35]
The Stock Pavilion was built in 1909 to provide a home for the University horses, and
for state-wide livestock shows. Because it had more seating than any building in
Madison until 1930 it was a common host to large public performances. It was added
to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.
I n 1905 agriculture in Wisconsin was carried on by horse power. The development of the tractor
was a few years in the future and the breeders and sellers of horses were a powerful elite in the
state. Among them was Wisconsin's Secretary of State Walter Houser. Beginning in 1903, a horse
show and auction was held on the university campus in February for the states farmers. Because of
the importance of the horse to the farmers, these shows were heavily attended. Finally in 1905, the
show (featuring the famous six horse team of Pabst Percherons), became too large for the existing
facilities at the Dairy Barn pavilion, and Agriculture Hall. Dean of agriculture William Henry pro-
posed to president Van Hise (who never saw a building proposal he didn't like) that a committee be
appointed to investigate the building of a large pavilion for the campus. This committee included
Pabst, and other well known horse breeders. They recommended to the governor in 1906 that the
legislature appropriate $80,000 for such a pavilion. This was accomplished, and in the following year,
university supervising architect Arthur Peabody, and animal husbandry professor George Humphrey,
toured other facilities around the country for ideas on the new building. 1
In January 1908, Van Hise offered Laird and Cret, the universities architectural planning
consultants the job of designing the pavilion. The design was done principally by Laird and Cret with

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