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

Practice cottage,   p. 95


Page 95

PRACTICE COTTAGE
Fig. 1. This 1931 photo was
taken from the steps of Ag Hall
and shows the Orthopedic Hospi-
tal at the top, and the practice
cottage which was moved to
make way for the hospital, in its
new location at the right. The
house's address before the move
was 444 Warren Street, and after
the move was 1501 Linden Drive.
[series 9/3 Home Ec Practice
Cottage, jf-42]
Originally private this house was purchased by the University in 1911 and used as a
home economics practice house until 1940. It was moved west in 1930 and demol-
ished in 1951.
n 1911 the University purchased the Schmelzer property at Linden
(then Morris) and Randall (then Warren) Streets for $8900. It was built about 1900.1
Director of home economics Abby Marlatt persuaded the regents to allow her department to
use the house for homemaking practice. With about $1200 for remodelling purposes, the department
began using the seven room house as the "practice cottage". A home economics staff member, Mary
Bunnell and her mother, lived in the house as supervisors. Every senior in the program was required
to spend two weeks in the cottage, purchasing, planning, cooking and serving meals to other stu-
dents. Another function of the practice cottage was the testing of labor saving devices. The reports by
the department on inventions like the gasoline engine applied to washing machines and well pumps
were written for Wisconsin publication to be read by the state's farmers and their wives.2
As the years passed the cottage became more and more unsuitable, because of deterioration
under hard use and limited size. The new home economics building was too crowded to do home-
making practice there. So the old cottage was still in use in 1930 when the site at Linden and Randall
was chosen for the new orthopedic hospital. The old practice cottage was moved west about a block
(see Fig. 1). In this new location it served as the department practice cottage for another ten years,
until in 1940 a new, permanent and much larger home management house was built. The old house
stood, and was used for miscellaneous storage, and expansion space until 1951. At that time the lot
was needed for the site of the state hygiene laboratory and the cottage was demolished.
1) Minutes of the Executive Committee, May 27, 1911; Madison city directories.
2) Wisconsin Country Magazine, October 1911, p. 365, March 1913, p. 4, June 1913, p. 13, June 1914; Regent's
Report, 1913-1914, p. 136; Wisconsin Alumni Magazine, January 1931 p. 137, May 1978 pp. 5-6., For the Bunnells,
see Regent's Minutes, May 31, 1912.


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