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Feldman, Jim / The buildings of the University of Wisconsin

Lathrop Hall,   pp. 117-119

Page 117

AFig. 1.
SLathrop Hall
K'i:      from the south
west c. 1926.
...[series 9/1,
Lathrop Hall,
Lathrop Hall was built as the gymnasium and social center for University women in
1910. The social functions were transferred to the Memorial Union in 1927. Many
significant events affecting women's physical education took place at Lathrop. A
major restoration is currently planned.
1            Charles Van Hise bec   president of the university in 1903 he brought a determina-
tion to extend the benefits of a university education to all students who wanted it. This
W        especially included women students who had first been admitted in the 1860s. The women
had no university facilities outside of Chadbourne Hall, originally called the "Ladies College". Van
Hise meant to end this situation. He succeeded to such an extent that by the late 1920s the men's
facilities at the university were distinctly inferior to the women's. The women had on-campus dormi-
tories, a modem gymnasium, and a social center, all of which the men lacked. The first project which
helped bring this about was the construction of Lathrop Hall.
The regents with Van Hise's urging had appointed an architectural commission, consisting of
University of Pennsylvania architectural professors Warren Laird and Paul Cret, and the university
supervising architect Arthur Peabody. The work of this commission was to produce a cohesive plan
for the orderly expansion of the university. The very rapid expansion and disorganized growth of the
buildings of the university made clear the need for such a master plan. While the resulting plan was

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