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

Primate annex,   pp. 260-261


Page 261

Fig. 2. This picture was taken in August 1970just after the
firebombing oftheprimate center. The camera was looking
west on Capitol Court (the opposite direction as Fig. 1).
The Wisconsin Selective Service Building, the target ofthe
firebomb is at the right, under the fire-escape. The Primate
Center isjust out ofthe picture at the left. The group of
soldiers is standing at Capitol Court and Orchard Street.
[Photo courtesy ofHelen Le Roy]
In March 1985 the state building commission agreedto
allow the University to sell their unusedproperty at 1954 East
Washington Street, to raise money for the purchase of the
Primate Center project. In August 1985 Dr. Robert Goy, the
director of the Primate Center was informed that the Center had been awarded a Federal grant of
$350,000 for remodelling purposes with another $100,000 per year available, which had to be com-
mitted prior to April 1986. This meant that if the buildings were not acquired by that time the grant
money would be forfeited. Because the East Washington Street property was not yet sold, the regents
received permission from the state to borrow money to buy the Capitol Court property remodel it with
federal grant funds, and pay off the loan with the proceeds from the eventual sale of the Washington
Street property. Negotiations with the Carpenters proceeded and on September 23, 1985 an agreement
was reached that the properties (including both buildings) were sold to the University for $510,000.
Final date of possession was January 11, 1986.3
There were two major buildings on the property. The main one, at 1220 Capitol Court was an
85 by 114 foot warehouse of a basement and two stories of reinforced concrete and concrete block
walls. The second, at 33-35 North Orchard Street was a one story brick and glass commercial build-
ing. By March 1986, architects Tavarez and Associates had developed a plan in five phases to be
constructed as grant money became available. By October 1986 another $780,000 in federal grant
money was received, and phases I-III were combined into the first phase. This work, by J. H. Findorff
(for $454,750) was finished by early 1988 and principally involved the basement area for animal
housing, and the entire building's HVAC system. Total phase I cost was $1.13 million.4
Late in 1988 the Primate Center requested permission to finish remodelling the buildings with
more federal grant money. This phase developed the first and second floor of the warehouse building
into offices, a small animal complex, storage and laboratories. This construction also made convenient
and permanent the connection between the warehouse building (Capitol Court side) and the shop
building (Orchard Street side). The exterior was remodelled at this time also. This work was ap-
proved by the state in July 1990. As more grant money arrived the budget for the work was revised
upwards to a final total of $1.67 million. Governor Thompson spoke at the dedication on May 6, 1993.
The shop building remains substantially as it was originally built.
As of the spring of 1995 plans are well advanced to provide more space for the Primate
Center, by purchasing the building between the Capitol Court building and Charter Street, and erecting
a new multistorybuilding in that area.
1) Madison city directories, Dane county register of deeds.
2) Regent's Minutes, March 11, 1983, February 11, 1985, September 6, 1985.
3) Regent's Minutes, September 6, 1985, Regent's legal papers, in regent's vault, "Carpenter" file.
4) plans in plans room of physical plant. Regent's Minutes, October 10, 1986, February 5, 1988, March 6, 1992, June
7, 1991.
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