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

State highway lab,   pp. 236-237


Page 236

Fig. 1. Computer Engineering and Plasma lab, Decem-  Fig 2. The CAE building from ERB, 1996.
ber 1993. This picture shows the Johnson Drive face  Notice the 1987 angled addition (left) to
of the original Highway lab building. [Author Photo,  the original rectangular highway lab
AP-19]                                                          (right).
Built with state funds to house the state highway laboratory in 1939, this building
became the property of the University by virtue of the 40 year lease of the land. The
lease expired in 1977, and the building was remodelled for use by the computer
science department, and physics. It was enlarged in 1983.
A    s early as January 1924, when there were less than 5000 miles of paved roads in Wisconsin,
A     the university and the state highway commission had a mutually advantageous relationship.
.      The state had room in a frame building behind the engineering building on Bascom hill, in
which they carried out material testing. In return the state engineers gave lectures and demonstrations
to the students in mechanical and civil engineering. Engineering Dean Turneaure was an ex officio
member of the highway commission. 1
This relationship worked well throughout the 1920s and early 1930s. Then as space require-
ments grew and the condition of the old building deteriorated, the state decided to seek new quarters.
In July 1937 president Dykestra read to the regents a request from Thomas Pattison of the Wisconsin
Highway Commission for the lease of University ground on which to erect a laboratory building for
the Highway Commission. The months that followed are marked by discussion and proposals of
various kinds referring to the highway lab. H. F. Janda, professor of Highway engineering, lobbies
business manager Phillips, in favor of the lab. Acting dean of engineering, A. V. Millar, tells Phillips
that he has consulted the faculty of civil, mechanical, and chemical engineering and finds them in
accord with the opinion of dean Turneaure, that the highway lab should be located in the vicinity of
the engineering laboratories on the camp Randall site.2
At their December 1937 meeting the executive committee adopted a motion of the business
manager that the regents approve a lease to the State Highway Commission for the lab. The lease
236
STATE HIGHWAY LAB


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