16.10.11

GOING FURTHER UPSCALE.

An assignment to a University of Wisconsin dorm no longer means quarters only marginally better than barracks or the housing projects.
Any baby boomer who went to college would envy the amenities of the Lakeshore Hall now under construction and the new $37.5 million Smith Hall (425 beds) and $35.9 million Ogg Hall (600 beds).

In the new dorms, a handful of rooms - not an entire floor - share a bathroom. Rooms have central air conditioning, mini refrigerators and spacious closets. Lakeshore Hall rooms offer a respectable 21-by-13-foot living space, not including closets.

The five-story Lakeshore Hall also offers scenic views of Lake Mendota and will feature restaurant-quality food in a dining area designed to resemble a food court.

Students living in Lakeshore will feed cravings for home-style comfort food at a diner; catch up with friends over Starbucks coffee and Babcock Dairy ice cream at a coffeehouse and ice cream shop, and grab fresh-baked pastries at a bakery on the way to class. Additional venues will each offer a specialty, from Italian pasta dishes to breakfast omelets, ethnic entrées, freshly prepared greens and made-to-order noodle bowls.
At one time, the Elm Drive complex across the street from the new Lakeshore Hall was where the university sequestered scholarship athletes.  I wonder if that is still the case.  According to the story, Adams and Tripp Halls, from 1926, remain in use as dorms.    Those two, which the state architect modeled on the Oxford enclosed-quadrangle college, probably don't have the electrical system contemporary students expect, but they have a lot more character than today's palaces offer.  Inside, the way the various houses (Botkin, Gregory, Frankenburger, and the rest) were laid out, nine rooms shared a restroom with two sinks, three toilets, and one shower.   We learned to share.

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