Skip to main content

$1 house on the block at UW-Madison

May 15, 2009 By Dennis Chaptman

For sale: Two-story brick and stone home designed in the colonial revival style, offering 2,300 square feet of living space. Asking price: $1. Contact the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Photo of house


For pocket change, UW–Madison is looking to sell the stately home at 1430 Linden Drive to any taker. Of course, there’s a catch: The purchaser needs to move the handsome house off of the site it has occupied for the past 69 years.

The School of Human Ecology is renovating its main building at 1300 Linden Drive and constructing an addition to the west. The addition will extend across the site now occupied by the house.

“We felt that it was important to offer the home to anyone interested in moving it off campus for use as a residence,” says Angela Pakes Ahlman, UW project manager on the Human Ecology expansion. “It’s a solidly built home, and we’d like to offer it a chance at a second life.”

Construction on the house began in 1940 and it was completed in June 1941 at a cost of $33,900. The house is roughly 57 feet wide by 31 feet deep.

Students and faculty once used the house as a home economics practice house, where up to eight students lived for two weeks at a time during their senior year. This period enhanced classroom education and provided hands-on learning in the areas of budgeting and time and household management.

In the mid-1960s the home — designed with four bedrooms, three bathrooms, an instructor’s suite and a sun porch — was converted for office use. The home retains, however, much of its original character. A former living room, complete with a long table and wood-burning fireplace, was converted to a conference room.

“Before we resort to salvage, we wanted to give someone a chance to move and renovate a charming home for their use,” says Pakes Ahlman, noting that the house has been made available to a number of local organizations who passed on the offer. “Based on discussions with an area professional moving company, it has been estimated to cost around $135,000 to lift and move the house about 10 blocks. Additional costs would apply for further distance, route, moving utility wires, etc.”

Pakes Ahlman says the purchaser will have to commit in writing to removing the house by Aug. 31, with complete removal of the house from the site by Feb. 1, 2010.

Interested parties should contact a reputable moving company and also check with the city of Madison on current ordinances for moving a home. Further information on the home and its availability can be found here.