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Feldman, Jim / The buildings of the University of Wisconsin

University Club,   pp. 144-147

Page 144

Fig. 1. The
university club
X   looking south-
west at the
comer of State
Streets. c. 1940.
[series 9/2
University Club,
The University Club began in an old house in 1906. The current building was built as
a series of additions to the house in 1908, 1912 and 1924. Ownership of the club-
house passed to the University in 1933. It now houses the University Club and Uni-
versity offices.
he University Club was begun by a small group of faculty and university men in early 1906.
Principal organizers included President Charles Van Hise, Burr Jones, C. S. Slichter, T. E.
Brittingham, Reuben Gold Thwaites, W. F. Vilas, and Edward Birge. By early 1906 consider-
able organization had taken place: $40,000 had been raised, a site had been purchased and most of the
work done in starting the club. In an introductory article founder H. L. Smith refers to: "establishment
of the University club which occupied its new house about February 1..."I
Articles of incorporation were filed February 20, 1907. This project did not make the amateur
mistake of under-capitalization. The amount raised by the club from sale of stock and bonds
($40,000) was enough to buy and remodel a clubhouse, build and furnish an addition, pay the first
year's taxes and expenses, and maintain a modest emergency fund.2
The clubhouse they bought was the old family home of John Barber Parkinson at the comer of
State and Murray Streets. Parkinson was a member of the university class of 1860, a regent and
faculty member. As Parkinson rose to the post of vice-president he purchased, in 1886, a substantial
brick house at State and Murray which was large enough for Parkinson, his wife and their eight
children. The house had originally been built and owned by John Sterling, the "Father of the Univer-
sity". In 1905 a fire damaged the house badly enough that the Parkinsons decided to move. The

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