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

Biochemistry,   pp. 151-153


Page 152

Fig. 2. July 5,
ii  ..........193 1, the
funeral proces-
sion of Stephen
M. Babcock
passes his old
emeritus offices,
in Agricultural
Chemistry. Note
the flags at half-
mast, [X25-
3077]
the rest of 1911 is taken up with developing suitable plans. These plans were developed by the mem-
bers of the 1908 architectural commission of Warren Laird, Paul Cret and Arthur Peabody. In August
the regents approved plans as drawn and presented by Peabody3, then changed their mind and se-
lected a design by Laird and Cret that better harmonized with the existing building on Henry Mall. 4
By December, 1911, the regents decide on a final design.5
By this time the foundation of the building was complete, having been let to the Madison
Engineering and Construction Co. (in October 1911) for $2410. Work was begun November 7, 1911.
Mr. Peabody says that the horses have trouble with the digging because of the sudden rain and hard
freeze. On May 31, of 1912 the regents award the contract for construction of the building to the
W. H. Grady and Company of St. Paul, for $65,025. The contractor Grady, flew the coop (with
$77,000 of the university's and subcontractor's money), defaulting on both his (biochemistry and
home economics) contracts, and landed in Los Angeles. The regents held a special meeting on May
21, 1913, in which the failures of the Grady contract are set down, and the contracts terminated, and
the regents take possession of the premises for the purpose of finishing the work.6 The university
finished the building itself, with Mr. Peabody acting as general contractor.
By October 1913, a year after the project was supposed to be occupied, mason and concrete
work were completed; plaster and trim work were underway, equipment and fixtures were ordered
and arriving. The building was finished in December 1913 at a cost of about $83,000. Mr. Peabody
describes it:
It consists of a central portion 108 feet by 65 feet fronting on University Avenue with
a wing 134 feet by 52 feet facing on the Lesser [Henry] Mall. The building is basement
and two stories high and has a floor area of 30,000 square feet ... The architectural
treatment correspond with the Agronomy and Agricultural Engineering Buildings
immediately north ... It is of fireproof construction with concrete floors and tile parti-
tion walls. The roof is covered with red tile. The building contains a lecture room with
a capacity of 350 ... This completes the group on the west side of the Lesser [Henry]
Mall and forms the eastern limit of the College of Agriculture.7
The agricultural chemistry building (the department name changed to biochemistry in 1938)
has become the site of more significance than any other building in the college of agriculture, with the
152


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