Old Buildings Evoke Nostalgia


James Mathee sent this photo of the Madison capitol taken by his grandfather, William Mathee, sometime between 1915 and 1917.

Thanks for the memories! [“Old School,” Spring 2015 On Wisconsin]. The grace and charm of old buildings cannot be replaced. It is sad, but change is inevitable.

Kristy Arthur

“Old School” brought back many memories of my time in Madison, both as a child growing up and as a university student. I attended Wisconsin High for three years before it closed in 1964 (not 1962, as you stated). I know this because it was my father, Lindley Stiles, who closed it. He was the dean of education at the time and felt the school had outlived its purpose. To say there was a lot of descending on our house over this is an understatement. There was even picketing on Bascom Hill, which I was not allowed to attend.

Trish [Patricia] Stiles Good ’71 Hummelstown, Pennsylvania

I read with a great deal of interest Jenny Price’s piece “Old School.” I am a 1990 graduate and often visit our daughter, who is a junior at UW–Madison. It is fascinating [to see] the changes that have taken place in a mere twenty-five years. My grandfather, William Mathee, attended the UW between 1915 and 1917. Photography was a hobby of his, and he passed on a couple of photo albums with some really interesting shots of Madison and the UW campus. [One of them was this] beautiful shot of the capitol building at night (above).

James Mathee ’90 Cedarburg, Wisconsin

I read the piece on UW buildings long gone and wanted to provide another perspective on Union South. I worked at Union South when it first opened — at the info desk and later in the games room.

The physical building may have been less than “warm,” but a lot of fun was had there. It was the first location of the Kentucky Fried Theater; the Red Oak Grill had great steak sandwiches; and lots of great pool and bowling went on. The lounge had a really cool jukebox. I heard some of the best ’70s music in that lounge. So the building might have been cold, but it hosted many hot days and nights.

Pam Butler ’73 Chicago

Your article “Old School” did indeed evoke memories here, as well as tears of joy. At ages seven to nine, in the 1930s, my friend Sue and I explored the shore of Lake Mendota from the back of the Phi Gamma Delta house to the willows, with stopoffs on the hill. We looked for mud puppies and unusual stones, and when that proved boring, we climbed the hill and peeked in the doors of Music Hall, the zoology building, and Bascom Hall, and went up the ski jump. We saw the Union Theater being built and got thrown out of the boathouse. “What are you two doing here?” and, “Do your folks know where you are?” followed us everywhere. What fun! I lost track of Sue as we grew older, but I will never forget her and the times we spent together.

Dolores Simms Greene ’51 Gainesville, Florida

Ugh — those old quonset hut classrooms, with their pre-AC “polar” hot/cold temperatures! Your photo gallery brings back many memories.

Mary Daniel

Published in the Summer 2015 issue


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