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Feldman, Jim / The buildings of the University of Wisconsin
(1997)

King Hall,   pp. 73-74


Page 73

Fig. 1. A ram 1894
photo showing the
Horticulture half (the
east half) of King Hall
from the north, before
the Agricultural physics
half was built. Note that
the first greenhouses just
show in this picture. The
picture was taken from
about where Tripp Hall
now stands. The man in
the foreground in work-
ing on the irrigation
troughs for a part of the
experimental farm. [9/3
King Hall folderjf- 16]
Erected in two sections in 1894 and 1896 King Hall originally housed
horticulture and agricultural physics. It was named in 1934for Professor
Franklin Hiram King, the first professor of agricultural physics, and the
developer of the round silo and modern windmill design. King Hall was
heavily remodelled in 1980, and placed on the National Register of His-
toric Places in 1981.
B y1893 the agricultural college under dean William Henry was on the way to enormous suc-
cess. The state's farmers had been convinced, in large part by the Babcock milk test, that the
university was an appropriate place for themselves and their sons to learn about farming. The
legislature was convinced, by the rising enrollments, that Henry and his staff (including professor
Franklin Hiram King) knew what they were doing. The legislature of 1891-1892 had appropriated
$14,200 for the purpose of erecting a horticulture building, but after dean Henry examined other such
buildings and got estimates and plans, the regents brought the total to $20,000 by voting to add
$5,800 to the appropriation from the funds of the agricultural college1. A site had been selected the
previous year "north of the dairy school building, skirting Fourth Lake".2
By June of 1893, the building's design, by Chicago's John Thompson Wilson Jennings, was
done. Because the total money available was only about half of what the department believed neces-
sary the building was designed to be built in two sections. A contractor (Lenicheck and Thwaites of
Milwaukee) was engaged, and the work got on the first section began. By January of 1894 the first
section was done. It came in about at the estimate of $23,000. This was the first expandable design
at the university. The central tower and east wing of King Hall was erected first (see Fig. 1.) to house
the horticulture department. Within a year, as new facilities attracted more students the second
section was needed.3
KING HALL


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