Destination – On Wisconsin For UW-Madison Alumni and Friends Mon, 04 Feb 2019 21:09:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Memorial Library Mon, 05 Nov 2018 20:30:14 +0000 The library was the state’s biggest building project since the Wisconsin Capitol in 1917. In the 1980s, plans for an eight-story addition were reduced by one floor to avoid blocking views of the capitol. Memorial Library is home to 3.5 million volumes — the largest single library collection in the state. Before the building’s construction in 1953, the library shared space with the Wisconsin Historical Society. Locked carrels, frequently called “cages,” are visible in this 1960s image. Second-year graduate students looking to avoid lugging books back and forth to the library can apply for one of the solitary study spaces. The library is known as one of the best places on campus to power through solo studying, a reputation reinforced by one review posted on Google: “Quietest public place for UW students. Not suitable for group work.”

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Washburn Observatory Mon, 27 Aug 2018 17:33:27 +0000 Stargazers take in a nighttime view using the observatory’s vintage telescope. Washburn hosts regular public observing sessions and posts its schedule on Twitter. Built in 1881, the observatory was a gift to the UW from former Wisconsin Governor Cadwallader Washburn, who directed that the 15.6-inch telescope lens be at least equal in size to a rival instrument at Harvard. The telescope’s rusty tube in 2012: its lenses were removed for the first time to clear out dust and debris. “It’s probably working better now than it did in the 19th century,” says Jim Lattis, director of UW Space Place. The dome was refurbished in the 1990s; the rest of the building was restored and updated in 2009. Washburn overlooks Lake Mendota and sits atop Observatory Hill, where students like to sled on campus dining hall trays.

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Henry Vilas Zoo Wed, 23 May 2018 14:24:08 +0000 A pair of lion cubs, born in 2017, are a major draw, along with the zoo’s Arctic Passage exhibit — home to polar bears, grizzly bears, and harbor seals — which opened in 2015. The zoo opened in 1911, after William Vilas 1858, MA1886 and his wife, Anna, donated land for the public park that was named for their son Henry, who died in childhood due to complications from diabetes. American badgers Dekker and Kaminsky — namesakes of the two former Badger basketball stars — and a sandhill crane are featured in the Wisconsin Heritage exhibit, which highlights the state’s mining history. Free admission makes the zoo, located less than two miles from the UW–Madison campus, one of the city’s most popular attractions. Inside the Children’s Zoo, rides on the carousel and electric train cost $2 apiece.

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Chazen Museum of Art Thu, 22 Feb 2018 19:12:35 +0000 The Chazen presents 10 to 12 temporary exhibitions each year, featuring works from its permanent collection and pieces on loan from museums around the world. About 20,000 works of art that represent a range of historical periods, cultures, and countries — including this 1967 screen print of Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol — make up the museum’s permanent collection. Free tours are offered for school groups and other visitors, touching on highlights of the museum’s exhibitions and collection such as Our Good Earth, a 1942 piece by American painter John Steuart Curry. A bridge over East Campus Mall connects the Chazen Museum of Art expansion — opened in 2011 — to the former Elvehjem Art Center building. It offers both a gallery space and a view of Lake Mendota to the north.

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Botany Greenhouse Fri, 03 Nov 2017 23:02:38 +0000 0 Kabul Restaurant Wed, 23 Aug 2017 19:28:35 +0000 Editor’s note: Kabul closed in June 2018

Kabul, nicknamed “Wisghanistan” by patrons, reopened in 2014, with faculty, students, and city residents flocking to its dining room and bar overlooking State Street to savor flavorful Afghan and Mediterranean dishes. Hamed Zafari manages Kabul, which his father, Ghafoor, started in 1989. The restaurant was one of a handful on State Street serving more adventurous fare, and it was the first to offer outdoor seating. Kabul relocated across the street to the second floor of 540 State Street, the building once occupied by Gino’s Restaurant. Gino Gargano served his last pizza on October 31, 2013, after 50 years in business. A 12-story luxury student apartment building called The Hub — complete with a rooftop pool, sand-volleyball courts, and other amenities — stands on the block of State Street that Kabul previously called home.

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Muir Knoll Mon, 22 May 2017 17:51:19 +0000 Muir_Knoll17_2091

Muir Knoll is a small, knobby extension of a drumlin — in this case, Bascom Hill — formed by the retreat of the last glaciers that remade Wisconsin’s landscape.


In 1919, one year after the knoll was dedicated to naturalist John Muir x1863, it got something new: a ski jump that extended down the slope toward Lake Mendota. Its replacement was removed in the 1950s. UW.UWArchives.dn06021404.bib


A staircase from the Lakeshore Path, west of the Hasler Laboratory of Limnology, leads visitors through Muir Woods to the knoll, which today is home to the Robert E. Gard Storyteller’s Circle, dedicated in 2011.


“To a good friend the way is not long though he be far away,” reads the inscription on a Swedish rune stone placed in memory of Thomas Brittingham Jr., a charter member of the UW Foundation, after his death in 1960.

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The Sett Fri, 24 Feb 2017 14:18:29 +0000 MBball_Elite8_USouth14_0240-2

Jeff Miller

Since Union South reopened in 2011, students and community members frequently pack The Sett Pub for watch parties, including Badger sporting events and presidential debates.

Jeff Miller

The Sett, named for a badger’s den, features a two-story climbing wall and a one-story bouldering wall. The ground floor offers eight full-length bowling alleys, billiard tables, and other games.


Wisconsin Union

Former Badger star Devin Harris x’06, now with the Dallas Mavericks, signed pieces of the old basketball court salvaged from the Kohl Center that make up one wall in The Sett.


Bryce Richter

The Sett also hosts team trivia contests, live music, and events connected with Wisconsin Welcome, a series of orientation and new-student programs held at the beginning of each semester.

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Dotty Dumpling’s Dowry Fri, 04 Nov 2016 18:00:05 +0000 model war plane

In 1969, Dotty Dumpling’s Dowry began as an eclectic jewelry store in Des Moines. The establishment didn’t begin serving hamburgers until founder Jeff Stanley moved operations to Madison in 1974 and opened up on Monroe Street.

the melting pot

The Melting Pot — topped with cheddar, Swiss, and provolone cheeses; smoked bacon; and Dotty’s signature garlic sauce — is the most popular of the restaurant’s 15 original hamburgers.

biker sculpture

The memorabilia collection keeps growing at Dotty’s current spot on North Frances, but owner Rachael Stanley-Zerwer’s favorite remains a metal sculpture of a motorcycle and its driver that her father acquired for the Iowa shop.


Twenty-three basketballs from the Field House are mounted on an oak beam above Dotty’s dining room, representing Badger basketball wins by the undefeated 1913–14 squad and the 1940–41 national championship team.

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Camp Randall Memorial Arch Thu, 01 Sep 2016 16:45:45 +0000 Camp_Rand_Mem_Arch16_0687

Old Abe, the bald eagle mascot who went into battle with the 8th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the Civil War, sits atop the arch. Statues of a veteran soldier and a young recruit flank the opening. Jeff Miller


Union troops trained at Camp Randall, the site of what was once a state fairground. Although citizens initially admired their drills, the soldiers soon wore out their welcome with rowdy behavior — a result of frequenting Madison taverns while awaiting action. WHS 1838.


The first athletic field was built on the site in 1894. Civil War veterans convinced the state legislature in 1911 to establish a five-acre memorial park and allocate $25,000 to design and build the monument. The arch was built in 1912. Jeff Miller.


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