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1450 MONROE ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record


Architecture and History Inventory
1450 MONROE ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:University of Wisconsin Field House
Other Name:Field House (UW#0029)
Reference Number:68712
Location (Address):1450 MONROE ST
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1929
Survey Date:1974
Historic Use:recreational building/gymnasium
Architectural Style:Neoclassical
Structural System:
Wall Material:Stone - Unspecified
Architect:William ChristensonArthur PeabodyStevens & Knudson (designers, for Arthur Peabody)
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished Date:
National/State Register Listing Name: University of Wisconsin Field House
National Register Listing Date:7/1/1998
State Register Listing Date:1/22/1998
National Register Multiple Property Name:
Additional Information:A 'site file' exists for this property. It contains additional information such as correspondence, newspaper clippings, or historical information. It is a public record and may be viewed in person at the State Historical Society, Division of Historic Preservation.

A Historic Structure Report of this building can be found in Room 312 at the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Original construction cost was $440,000. Dedicated 12/18/1930.

Until the construction of the Field House in 1929, the Badger basketball team played in the University Armory and Gymnasium, popularly known as the Old Red Gym, which held only 2,240 spectators.

When George Little became the university’s athletic director in 1925, he made the construction of a new field house a priority. The resulting facility, located just south of Camp Randall Stadium, has become an important symbol of the university, built by the campus architect. The sandstone-rubble structure expresses a simplified Renaissance Revival style through differentiated treatment of the first and second stories. The second level is particularly attractive, with its tall arched windows, broad flat pilasters, and stone balconets below the windows on either end. Overhead is the wide gable, ornamented with the shield that is the university logo and separated from the rest of the façade by a string course of wave and shield motifs. Bedford limestone and terracotta trim provide contrasting texture and color.

After the building's dedication in December 1930, it hosted not only basketball but also track and field events, wrestling, and other athletics, along with cultural events and the university's graduation exercises. To accommodate larger crowds, a second balcony was added in 1936, boosting seating capacity from 8,600 to 12,000. In January 1998, Badger basketball moved to the larger field house at the Kohl Center, but the Field House continues to host the women’s volleyball team.

Madison Historic Landmark: 5/19/2009
Bibliographic References:A Tabular History of the Buildings of the University of Wisconsin, Alden Aust, 1937. Wisconsin State Journal 3/13/1997. Feldman, Jim. “Buildings of the University of Wisconsin.” Madison, WI : UW Madison, Archives and Records Management Service, 2006. Originally published 1997. Accessed: February 2012. Buildings of Wisconsin manuscript. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Office of Public Information, University of Wisconsin-Madison Tour Guide: South Campus, 1989.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, State Historic Preservation Office, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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