Bascom Hill


Some campuses have a “quad” — a grassy space surrounded by buildings that draws students who want to play Frisbee, eat lunch, or read. For UW–Madison students, that place is Bascom Hill. Two of the university’s oldest buildings are reside there: North Hall, opened in 1851; and South Hall, opened in 1855. Through the early 1850s, North Hall was the campus. It held the dormitory, classrooms, dining hall, and library. South Hall was built as an exact replica to North Hall to house the first women on campus. The story goes that couples were allowed to meet up for one chaperoned lap around the hill before lights-out.