University of Wisconsin Dairy Barn
Photo by UW–Madison Archives
The first barn in the country to be designated as a National Historic Landmark, in 2005, was built on the west side of the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus in 1898. The Dairy Barn, 1915 Linden Drive, was designed by architect J.T.W. Jennings of Chicago. Its style was based on barns that could be seen in Normandy, France, at the time. The Dairy Barn was unique because it had a basement and three floors, plus a cylindrical silo with a water tank above it. The round silo, a common sight on today’s farms, was an experiment then. A ramp on the outside of the building leading up to the third floor permitted hay to be hauled by horses to the top floor and then dropped down to the cows below. Other sections that were part of the original Dairy Barn included two livestock barns set perpendicular and attached to the rear of the main barn and a classroom/livestock judging arena between the two livestock barns. Much to the public’s amazement, the Dairy Barn was lighted with electricity.