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

Institute for Enzyme Research,   pp. 258-259

Page 259

work until the new building was ready, space was provided in the old Wisconsin Alumni Foundation
(WARF) laboratories. Green began his work in the old labs in June 1947.3
In July of 1947, President Fred appealed to WARF. Fred estimated that the scaled down, and
relocated enzyme institute would cost $250,000-$300,000. He asked WARF to lend money on the
same terms as for the biochemistry addition. On July 18, 1947, the WARF trustees voted to approve
a loan not to exceed $300,000 for the enzyme building.4
Plans proceeded through late 1947 and early 1948. Architect Lewis Siberz had final plans
drawn by March 1948. The regents executive committee approved the awarding of contracts for the
building. The general contractor was George Nelson and Son of Madison for $187,397. Total con-
tracts were for $350,000. In late 1947 the site for the building had been moved from the Henry Mall
site to a parcel west of the naval ROTC building on University Avenue. This .2 acre parcel had been
donated to the university by WARF in August 1946. Some of the Henry mall site was privately
owned, and it was already intended as the location for the state hygiene lab; making the enzyme
institute part of the hygiene lab was discussed but judged too difficult and disruptive.5
Ground was broken in the summer of 1948. The laboratory was opened on November 1,
1949. The building was a 90' X 50' three story brick building. The main entrance was on the west side
of the first floor. Heat was brought from a new boiler installation in the naval ROTC building. The
first occupants were the research teams of David Green and Henry A. Lardy. This gave the new
institute two of the top enzyme researchers in the world. In April 1948, the Rockefeller Foundation
granted the university $100,000 to help equip the new institute. For almost ten years the institute's
work went forward under these two team leaders, then as the work progressed they decided to add
more teams.
In 1957, after WARF made a grant of $300,000 for additional space at the enzyme institute,
the regents voted to apply to the federal National Institute of Health (NIH) for a matching grant for
construction and equipage of an addition to the enzyme institute estilmated to cost $600,000. By April
1958, the NIH had granted the request for matching funds. The regents approved the plans for the
addition in August 1958. The plans were done by Siberz-Purcell-Cuthbert of Madison, and consisted
of a two story brick and stone trimmed addition on the west side of the existing lab, with a two story
connecting link between the old and new section; the front entrance was moved to the west wing.
Ground breaking was July 10, 1959. The total space in the institute was more than doubled at a cost
of $600,000. The institute now added three new research teams. The new teams were headed by Drs.
H. G. Khorana, Helmut Beinert, and Louis Gosting.6
This space was sufficient for about another decade. In 1968, Dr. Khorana became the
university's second (to Joshua Lederberg) Nobel prize winner for his work in gene synthesis. Planning
had already begun for more space when the prize was awarded. After a series of meetings with the
team leaders and campus planners, it was decided to expand the facilities by adding three floors to the
west wing and connecting link. These plans were done in 1967 by Ames-Torkelson of Madison.
When finished the facility comprised more than 65,000 square feet. The cost of the addition was $1.7
million. Dr. Khorana left the university in 1970.
1) Memorandum concerning the development of the Enzyme Institute, E. B. Fred to the regents, April 17, 1948.
Wisconsin State Journal, December 1, 1968.
2) Memorandum concerning the development of the Enzyme Institute, E. B. Fred to the regents, April 17, 1948; UW
Staff News, July 1949; Wisconsin State Journal, April 17, 1948;
4) Fred to Haight, July 16, 1947; Kenosha News, August 18, 1947;
5) A. W. Peterson to Fred, July 25, 1947, Executive Committee minutes, May 6, 1948; Regent's Minutes, May 28,
1948; Wisconsin Alumni Magazine, December 1947 p. 5, December 1948, p. 18, August 1948, p. 7, October 1949 p. 5;
December 1949, p. 6,
6) Regents Minutes, July 13, 1957, March 15, 1958, June 9, 1959; Daily Cardinal, July 16, 1959; Executive Committee
minutes, July 11, 1958;

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