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Feldman, Jim / The buildings of the University of Wisconsin

Home management house,   pp. 244-245

Page 244

Fig. 1. The home management house c. 1944. [Series 9/3, Home Management House, jf-61]
Erected in 1940 the home management house was used to provide practical instruc-
tion in homemaking to home economics majors. In the 1960s it was converted to
office space.
By 1939 the old home economics practice cottage was worn out. In a letter to president
Dykestra, dean of Agriculture Christensen described it: "The present house used for practice
training is an old house built in 1911. Not only is it too small, but it is poorly planned, imprac-
tical, and inadequately equipped for the training in home practice management which is conducted by
the Home Economics staff." Dean Christensen, and Miss Frances Zuill, head of the home economics
department, had discussed and planned for a new home economics practice house since the late
1930s. No building was done because of the lack of funding for construction during the depression,
but the plans were refined and discussed.1
So it was that when, in January 1940, the Wisconsin Utilities Association offered $20,000 in
private funding for the home management project, Dean Christensen could present to the regents
sketches and estimates at the same time that he announced the gift.2 So prepared was the dean, that
before the end of the regents meeting, he had obtained approval of his plans (including the proposed
site between home economics and agriculture hall), permission to advertise for bids, and approval to
raze the old solar observatory, by then used only for storage and in the way of the new building.

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