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Feldman, Jim / The buildings of the University of Wisconsin

Elizabeth Waters Hall,   pp. 232-233

Page 232

~Fig. 1. Liz Waters
* front entrance c.
1950. [Series 26/1,
Liz Waters, x25-
 .::. 1896]
Built in 1938 with state and federal funds to alleviate the shortage of housingfor
women students, this dormitory is named for long time University regent Elizabeth
Agnes Waters (1864-1933). It was opened in May 1940.
he planning for additional women's dormitories began in 1937 at the same time as the planning
that resulted in the construction of the Kronshage dorms for men. The women's dorm took
longer than the men's for a number of reasons. The university officers in charge of housing had
considerably more experience in the operation of men's housing. The existing dorms for women were
now old, Chadbourne (1871) and Barnard (1912) provided little in the way of example for the
operation of a modem dorm. Regardless of the causes for the priorities, planning for women's dorms
proceeded in parallel with the planning of the men's units. 1
The plans proceeded along lines similar to those for the Kronshage dorms; several small units
were planned rather than large ones. In June 1937, the dormitory committee recommended the
construction of two units, but since funding was still unresolved, the plans were still fluid. In a letter
to business director Peterson, dean of women Greeley asked that the units be increased to three
stories, based on medical evidence that the occupants would not be harmed by climbing the stairs.2
The regents and building committees examined several different configurations of small units, estimat-
ing their cost both with and without financial assistance of the federal Works Progress Administration
(WPA). The vagaries of funding for the project were such that even after ground was broken, the
exact configuration of the building was not complete.3
In October 1938, the regents accepted $162,000 in grants from the WPA, implying a project
of about $360,000. After further planning and correspondence, the WPA grant was increased to
$363,088 in March 1939. The new project was to cost about $806,000. Still the plans remained
flexible. The foundation contract was awarded in October 1938, to George Nelson and Son of Madi-
son. Groundbreaking took place on October 19, 1938, and the foundation was to be completed by

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