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Lathrop Hall (Women’s Gymnasium)

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1910, Laird and Cret with Arthur Peabody. 1050 University Ave.
  • (Courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society)

Built as a gymnasium and meeting place for women university students, this building was the home of the country’s first university dance performance group, Orchesis, founded by Professor Margaret H’Doubler, who also established the first degree program in dance, which became nationally influential in dance education.

The five-story Renaissance Revival building, shaped like a dumbbell, consists of a long central section flanked by projecting pavilions made slightly taller by attic stories. Constructed of Madison sandstone blocks with chiseled surfaces, the building has a raised basement and a rusticated ground floor. Above this is the three-story, red tile-roofed gymnasium (now a dance theater) with tall round-arched windows. French doors open onto small, iron-balustraded balconies supported by stone scrolled brackets.

Writing Credits

Marsha Weisiger et al.


What's Nearby


Marsha Weisiger et al., "Lathrop Hall (Women’s Gymnasium)", [Madison, Wisconsin], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Wisconsin

Buildings of Wisconsin, Marsha Weisiger and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2017, 450-450.

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