Bascom Hill is the main quadrangle that forms the symbolic core of the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus. It is located on the opposite end of State Street from the Wisconsin State Capitol, and is named after John Bascom, former president of the University of Wisconsin. The hill itself is a drumlin,[2] formed by glacial deposits about 18,000 years ago.

Bascom Hill Historic District
Bascom Hall atop Bascom Hill
Bascom Hill is located in Wisconsin
Bascom Hill
Bascom Hill is located in the United States
Bascom Hill
LocationBounded by Observatory Dr., University Ave., and N. Park, Langdon, and State Sts.
Madison, Wisconsin
Architectural styleGothic, Other, Romanesque
NRHP reference #74000065 [1]
Added to NRHPSeptember 12, 1974
Bascom Hall and the statue of Abraham Lincoln.

The hill is crowned by Bascom Hall, the main administration building for the campus. Near the main entrance to Bascom Hall sits a statue of President Abraham Lincoln. The first university building, North Hall, was constructed on Bascom Hill in 1851 and is still in use by the Department of Political Science. The second building, South Hall, was built in 1855 and is now used by the administration of the University of Wisconsin College of Letters and Science. The original buildings were designed by the architect John F. Rague.

1885 engraving of UW campus looking up Bascom Hill


South sideEdit

North sideEdit


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 15, 2006.
  2. ^ Who knew? (Dec. 12, 2000) Archived August 29, 2006, at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 43°04′31″N 89°24′15″W / 43.075342°N 89.404078°W / 43.075342; -89.404078