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

Sea Grant building,   pp. 127-128


Page 128

Fig. 2. The Seagrant building
from the south side of Uni-
versity Avenue in 1993.
[Author Photo AP-4]
Halpin and his successor Professor Bird, the poultry husbandry department had enormous success,
which eventually reduced the utility of the little building on the western edge of campus. By the
middle 1950s a few of the departments members still had offices in the "poultry building", but much
of the department had moved to Hiram Smith Hall, recently vacated by the dairy department. The
poultry department stayed in Smith Hall until the move to animal science building in 1972, at which
time the dean of the college of Agriculture Dean Pound was referring to this building as "the shack
across the tracks".
Meanwhile the house on University Avenue had an astonishing array of occupants: in 1959
the last of the poultry department left and the building was occupied by the Wisconsin Stock
Breeder's Association, in 1960 the Stock Breeders were joined by the UW entomology department; a
year later the U. S. D. A. arrived to carry out the study of bee culture; in 1963 the U.S. D. A. Ento-
mology Research was the sole tenant. 1964 saw the arrival of the UW Computing Center, which
remained until 1968. The Computing Center moved to the new Computer Science building in 1969,
when the old poultry building was occupied by the Rehabilitation Counselling Center. The RCC
stayed only until 1975 when they moved to the new hospital and clinics complex on Highland Av-
enue.3
Their place at the old poultry building was taken in 1975 by the Sea Grant Institute. Sea Grant
is a federally and state funded research institute which oversees grants for research in fields relating to
the development of maritime resources, this charter was later expanded to cover research in the great
lakes as well as the oceans. There are a number of sea grant colleges around the country. Only the
administration offices of Sea Grant are at the old poultry house; Sea Grant does no research itself.
They fund related facilities on campus such as the hydraulics lab, limnology etc.
Though surely never intended to be a long lived structure, its regular upkeep and fundamen-
tally sound construction have kept it in good enough condition to be an ongoing and useful part of
the University physical plant.
1) Specifications for the Poultry House, Arthur Peabody, series 24/8/10 box 5.
2) Early Days of the University of Wisconsin Poultry Department, J. G. Halpin, 1959. Poultry Science departmental
files: series 9/20.
3) Report of the regents of the University of Wisconsin, October 1910 p. 155.
3) University and City Directories.


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