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Feldman, Jim / The buildings of the University of Wisconsin

Barnard Hall,   pp. 154-155

Page 154

Hall from
Hall shortly
soa ccompletion,
C. 1915.
[series 26/1
Hall, x25-
Barnard Hall was erected in 1912 as an undergraduate women's dormitory. It has
served that purpose ever since. It was the last University buildingfaced entirely with
Madison sandstone.
n       1906 President Charles Van Hise told the regents: "the parents of the state are desirous of
sending their daughters to quarters under some university supervision ... This is not possible at the
iresent time for more than a part of the young women, nor does it seem likely that it will become
possible until additional women's dormitories are provided.nt Van Hise was determined to raise the
level of opportunity for women students as much as possible. He began by providing the Athletic and
social center at Lathrop Hall in 1909. Soon after the completion of Lathrop Hall in 1910 agitation
began for the ctios(led n  of new dormitory space.
The first and most enduring issue regarding the new dorm was where to locate it. There were
two distinct views. The first was promoted by the consulting architects Laird and Cret, who proposed
in the general plan of 1908 that the women's dorm group should be located on the Lake Mendota
shore at the approximate site of Elizabeth Waters Hall. President Van Hise supported this location,
even though it was intended for a large group of dorms and only one would be built at this time.
Another faction (led by Florence Buckstaff of the Committee of Womens Affairs) contended that
the site was too remote, and argued for a site on Park Street, to utilize the property at Park and
Langdon occupied at that time by the Presidents House, and currently by the Union theatre. These
opinions were so far from agreement that they had plans drawn by various architects showing the
utilization of the disputed sites. 2 The disagreement smoldered on through early 1911. Then in June
1911 Laird and Cret were re-consulted, with the understanding that their original proposal was
unacceptable. On July 11, 1911 it was definitely decided to locate the dorm on University Avenue
between Chadbourne and Lathrop Halls.3 This decision was partly a compromise, but the idea of a
connecting kitchen building for Barnard and Chadbourne made the site appealing.

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