Photo of Bascom Hall. Image courtesy of University Communications

Bascom Hall

Bascom Hall isn’t the UW’s oldest building, but it may be campus’s most recognizable — in spite of the fact that it looks little like it did when it was first built. When it opened in 1859, it was called Main Edifice, and its most prominent feature was the tall dome that loomed over it. It was the university’s first purely instructional building (earlier structures had also served as dormitories), so it was valuable space: the UW added wings in 1899, 1905, and 1927. It subtracted the dome in 1916, due to a fire. Bascom Hall was named for John Bascom, the UW’s sixth president, in 1920. The Sifting and Winnowing plaque attached to Bascom Hall was a gift from the UW’s Class of 1910. The Class of 1917 wished its gift to be used to replace the dome, but when the university declined, it spent its gift building the Carillon Tower instead.

Badger Pride Wall art is by Nate Koehler