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Dairy Barn

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1898, J. T. W. Jennings. 1915 Linden Dr.
  • (Photograph by Andrew Hope)
  • (Photograph by Andrew Hope)

When the university architect designed the Dairy Barn, he found inspiration in the traditional buildings of rural Normandy, particularly in their characteristic round towers, which lent themselves to the function of a silo. Jennings’s silo rises above the barn at its northeast corner. Diamond-patterned brickwork ornaments its cream brick lower section, and stucco and decorative half-timbering clads the upper, octagonal stories. The rest of the original Dairy Barn complex consists of four attached buildings. The main structure, with the silo, is a three-story hay and grain barn, covered by a gambrel roof. Sheltering the door is a gabled porch with flared eaves, half-timbering, and other decoration meant to evoke a Norman country house. On the south side of this main barn is a two-story classroom and stock-judging room, wedged between two cattle barns. The main building has been altered by the removal of roof dormers and by the infilling of small windows. Other changes include an ell added to the east side. The barn’s innovative ventilation system, developed by the university’s prominent agricultural physicist Franklin Hiram King, served as a model for farms and agricultural colleges throughout the nation. Here in the original Dairy Barn, university scientists performed experiments that led to the discovery of vitamins A and B.

Writing Credits

Marsha Weisiger et al.


What's Nearby


Marsha Weisiger et al., "Dairy Barn", [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, 451-452.

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