Wish You Were Here: Living Quarters

There’s no place quite like a student home. Whether you made your best memories in your dorm or your ten-roommate, two-bedroom apartment we want to hear about it.

Tell us about your student home, and we’ll add your memory to our Badger Scrapbook. You can also tag your social posts #WhereBadgersBelong. (Include photos, please!)

Memories

Birge Hall apartments at 1932 old University Ave. was my first campus apartment for my sophomore year. Loved the view of campus and didnt know what I was doing as far as apartment hunting goes- neither did my roommate. Turns out the furnaces didn’t work and the windows leaked. The grad student that was the apt manager would crank up the heat in the hallways and tell us to keep our doors open- which made the temperature bearable in the winter but also made for communal living. He would put gobs of caulk around the windows in hope of ending the leaks so the snow wouldn’t blow in. That winter of ‘84 was brutally cold so there were several pipes that burst causing all of our units to be flooded. And then the cockroaches!!! Non stop fun. When I pass by that place on visits to Madison I wonder if the place has ever improved and have always thought that it set the bar pretty low for all future living places in my life. Everything has been better than that place. It was part of the complete picture for learning experiences during my Madison years.
Judy Kramer ’86

For one semester I attended my Italian class smelling like Gordon Commons. It wasn’t a bad smell, just a breakfast smell, because I worked the morning shift there every Monday, right before Italian 101.
The atmosphere at “Gordo’s” was always very friendly as my fellow student workers and I labored through fairly light duties: sorting silverware, cashiering, salad bar, for example. There were, however, mandatory “shit shifts” every semester (hard or unpleasant tasks) because no one would ever work those voluntarily.
I donned the Gordon Commons hairnet for three years in the 1980s and it was the most flexible student job. I always thought they prepared fine meals too.
Laura Canadeo ’85

In 1971, a group of students leased the Acacia fraternity house at 222 Langdon St and turned it into one of the least-known and best-run co-op residences on campus. I lived there from 1972 until I graduated in 1974 and served as one of the food buyers. Best memories include an ecumenical Christmas tree with a Star of David on top; our fabulous members-only Thanksgiving feasts; and the line-up for dinner each evening (we ate like kings at residence hall prices). My roommates were both business majors and the ran the co-op finances. At the end of the lease (I believe in 1975), Acacia resumed operations and the co-op ceased to exist. But it was great while it lasted! Sorry, I don’t seem to have any photos!
Doug Zoerb ’74

My best friend Carol Siebers (class of 64) and I resided in a studio apartment on Johnson St. It had a pull out couch/bed and a pot belly stove with a chimney pipe that came out a few times and deposited soot all over everything. The place was so small that while reading Catch-22 I had to sit in the bathroom because my laughter was disturbing her study time. There was a pie manufacturing company almost next door and we occasionally could purchase a fresh cherry pie. Across the street was Glen & Anns with scooners of beer and great burgers. A wonderful time to be a UW student. Fond memories.
Sharron Hall Smith ’65