With attention largely focused on the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, people may not have noticed that UW-Madison was building another major science facility nearly right across the street.
A $112 million biochemistry complex on Henry Mall will be substantially completed this month and occupants are expected to move in over winter break. The complicated project involved gutting several historic buildings, the restoration of 1940s-era murals and a new, six-story research tower.
"It'll basically mean that essentially the entire complex is now up-to-date," said Michael Cox, biochemistry professor who was the department liaison for the project. "We needed new teaching space and new lab space. We didn't have any place to put new faculty."
The exteriors of the original 1912 Biochemistry building — where Harry Steenbock discovered life-saving properties of vitamin D in 1923 — and the 1906 Agricultural Journalism building were preserved while the insides were torn out and rebuilt. The buildings are located in the Henry Mall Historic District, part of the National Register of Historic Places.