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Feldman, Jim / The buildings of the University of Wisconsin

700 Block University,   pp. 181-182

Page 181

Fig. 1. This 1924 photo shows the 700 block of University Avenue, looking west, and includes Tiedeman's
Drug Store, and a horse and buggy. The second utility pole from the left ofthe picture is at Fitch Court,
which marks the current limit of the buildings that remain. [Meuerphoto vol. 3 p. 27, M5-5294]
ome to a series of neighborhood businesses beginning in the 1900s, the 700 block ofUniver-
sity Avenue was gradually taken over by the University in the usual manner: that is, first by
renting space as offices and specialized uses, then purchase when the properties came on the
In spite of its variegated appearance from the front, there are only three or four buildings on the
block. The Cardinal block, built to house the Cardinal Creamery about 1902, makes up all addresses
from 702 to 708 University Avenue. The name "Cardinal Building" can still be seen over the door at
706. The next set of addresses from 714 - 724 are housed in the second building, built about 1920.
Next comes a tiny storefront that has housed a number of marginal businesses since the mid 1950s.
This "building" is actually infill between the two adjacent business blocks, and occupies a space that
was originally an outside stairway that provided joint access to the larger buildings. It is said to be the
narrowest commercial space in Madison. The third major building on the block contains 730 and 734
University Avenue. It was evidently built near 1900.
Older residents will doubtless remember the longer lived businesses that inhabited this block.
The Cardinal building housed Tiedeman Drugs and Restaurant, Klein Dickert Paint, Dunkell Shoes and
the wide range of small businesses expected in a prime commercial location in a bustling city. The
second building housed Kleinheinz dry goods, Evans Radio and Television, the Diamond Grocery,
and a further assortment of cleaners, restaurants and retail stores. The third building, held Burger
Hardware from 1902 to 1943. The infill space first appears in 1955 (although it may have been built
much earlier) as the home of Bill's Key shop.
The infiltration of the University began as early as 1955 with the leasing of the space at 730
University as space for UW computing. The University presence grew nearly yearly after that until by
1970 only four independent business remained on the block. Five years later, only the restaurant at 704

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