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Feldman, Jim / The buildings of the University of Wisconsin

Sea Grant building,   pp. 127-128

Page 127

Fig. 1. 1969, The poultry building (on the far right) with associated chicken coops or "long houses"
before its reincarnation as a rehabilitation facility and sea grant administration offices. [series 9/3
Poultry Houses, jf-36]
Built in 1910 as the home for poultry husbandry, this building has provided tempo-
rary quarters for a broad range of academic and support programs. It is now occu-
pied by the administrative offices of the sea grant institute, a federal research pro-
Ln the early years of his tenure as dean of agriculture, H. L. Russell created an enormous number
of new departments in the college of agriculture. One of these was Poultry Husbandry in 1909.
ean Russell hired, to head this new department, James Halpin of Michigan. Since the depart-
ment was brand new it had neither facilities nor stock. The stock was provided by donors from the
Wisconsin Poultry Association. The regents opened bids for the building on December 30, 1909, and
later that winter the foundations were built by university labor, apparently including Halpin's. The
building was not finished that winter, and the work of the new department was carried out in the
basement of the stock pavilion. In January of 1910 the regents signed a contract for the construction
of the superstructure of the frame poultry building with C. B. Fritz of Madison for $3427. The con-
tract specified that the building be finished within ninety days of the contract date. While that might
seem like an unreasonably short time for the work, it was not. In the job specifications for the poultry
house, architect Peabody says: "The University has already excavated for the foundation walls, piers
and other work below the first story level and has placed the concrete foundations and walls, piers
and window frames and first story floor which is constructed of concrete in such a manner that the
wood superstructure can be erected upon it."1 The following summer Halpin and his students built the
"long houses" for the chickens in the space to the west of the poultry building proper [see Fig. 1.] 2
In the 1910 regents report dean Russell says: "The buildings for the newly organized poultry
department, consisting of a two-story and basement general utility house, costing about $4000, three
permanent laying houses, and twelve moveable colony houses, have been built this last year."3 Under

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