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Feldman, Jim / The buildings of the University of Wisconsin

Home economics,   pp. 156-158

Page 156

Fig. 1. Home Eco-
nomics and Extension
before construction of
west wing; c. 1940.
Looking north east.
[series 9/3 Home
Economics, jf-44]
Erected in 1912 as the home for both home economics and the University extension,
this building was first built without its west wing. The west wing was added in 1951.
The extension moved out in the early 1960s, and home economics has been renamed
Family Resources and Consumer Sciences.
A lthough instruction of home economics was initially begun in 1903 (as Domestic Science)
under the school of Letters and Sciences, the limited facilities in South Hall, and evident lack
.      of student interest, showed little promise. Then in 1909 the department was transferred to the
College of Agriculture under the impetus of the Nelson Act which provided funding for home eco-
nomics programs geared to agricultural education and problems. Agriculture dean Russell was given
a year to reorganize the department. It was housed for a semester in the basement of Agriculture Hall,
then moved in 1909 to the attic of Lathrop Hall. During this period the department was in the hands
of Abbey Mayhew and Carolyn Hunt.
Dean Russell says in his report to the regents in 1910: "A casual examination of... facilities in
Lathrop hall will reveal the utter impossibility of handling this work permanently in these quarters. A
new building devoted entirely to this work should be planned at once." In the same report, president
Van Hise agrees, saying that "It appears that there is to be a very large demand for the work of this
department." 1 With Van Hise and Russell both pushing the project there was quick activity. The
architectural committee of Laird Cret and Peabody, originally proposed to locate the home economics
building as part of the "women's group" around Lathrop Hall. They knew that the home economics

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