Theodore Winthrop used the University Building for a scene in his 1861 novel Cecil Dreeme. The heroine is a young woman who, to escape marriage to the villain of the story, disguises herself in men’s clothing and hires a room in the building as a young artist. She ventures out only at night so as to escape recognition by her kindred and fashionable friends who live in the immediate neighborhood. The University Building lent plausibility to the story because it had five entrances on three different streets that made possible the heroine’s secret comings and goings.
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