Lothlórien Cooperative House

Last updated: November 9, 2010 (5 years ago)

Listing created on: December 31, 1999

Lothlórien Cooperative House

(Madison, Wisconsin, United States)

Mission Statement:

Vegie, Enviro, LGBT-friendly

Community Description:

We are a community of about 30 people (both students and workers) and five cats (neither students nor workers) who share a large yellow castle on the shore of Lake Mendota. Since our founding in 1973, Lothlorien Co-op has striven to provide a welcoming and supportive atmosphere for people of all ages, sexes, races, and sexual orientations. Many of our housemembers are politically active in queer rights, labor rights, and environmental and feminist movements, and our home is an open resource to activist groups like Food Not Bombs, Stop the War, Radical Cheerleaders, and the Madison Art Collective. We often host benefit concerts, fiestas, coffeehouses, and other events providing the city of Madison with good times. Based in egalitarian ideals, house decisions are made through modified consensus at weekly house meetings.

The house features a huge living room and library with hardwood floors, four fireplaces distributed throughout the house, multiple decks, and one grand and one upright piano. Our backyard has terraced gardens, a lakeshore fire pit, a dock, and two canoes. All but one of our 31 bedrooms are singles. We have a great location within walking distance of the Capitol, UW-Madison and MATC campuses, and bus lines. Additional fun fact: Loth has one of the largest solar hot water systems in Madison.
We cook vegetarian meals with a vegan option nightly. Nearly all food at Loth is organic and most produce is also locally grown.



  • Area: 0.5 acres
  • Current Number of Residences: 1
  • Land owned by: The Community


  • Adult Members: 32
  • Percent Women: 50%
  • Percent Men: 50%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process: Dinners:
    All are welcome to join us for dinner Sunday through Friday at 6:00 p.m. or brunch Sunday at noon.

    How to apply for membership:
    Attend a minimum of three dinners, then give 48 hours notice before a membership meeting with current house members. Membership meetings consist of going over house policies and a Q & A session. Call the house phone and ask about our process for applying to become a member if you cannot attend dinners. Also feel free to email any questions to Eli (one of our membership coordinators) at [email protected]

    We accept short-term crashers pending a meeting with members of the house. Crashing fees are $7 per night, including all-you-can-eat food; there is a possibility for partial work-job payment as well.

  • Open to new Members: Yes


  • Decision Making: Consensus (everyone agrees)
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: No
  • Additional Comments: Modified Consensus


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: No
  • Shared Income: Members have completely independent finances
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 0
  • Additional Comments: 6 hours workjob/week–ie: cooking, composting, dishes, recycling, etc; 1.5 hrs Maintanence/mo

    One-time small due to: Madison Community Co-op (MCC)

Sustainability Practices

  • Current food produced: Up to 25%


  • Shared meals: Approximately all dinners
  • Dietary Practice: Vegetarian (no animal meat; dairy and eggs okay)
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: Not at all important – people may eat however they individually choose.
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: No~ this community does not permit tobacco use.
  • Additional Diet Comments: herb garden and basic veggies in terraced gardens

    Our meals are Veggie w/vegan option

    only in members’ rooms

Additional Comments

House was founded in 1973

Photo Gallery

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

Madison Community Cooperatives

Community Affiliations

Madison Community Cooperative (MCC), Avalon Cooperative House, The Phoenix Cooperative House, Sofia Cooperative House, Syntropy Cooperative House, Ofek Shalom Cooperative House, Hypatia Cooperative House, Friends’ Cooperative House, Audre Lorde Cooperative House, Ambrosia Cooperative House, International Cooperative House (ICH)

We happily link to the following organizations, all of whom share our strong commitment to promoting community and a more cooperative world:
Cohousing The Federation of Egalitarian Communities - Communes Coop Community Cooperative Sustainable Intentional North American Students of Cooperation Global Ecovillage Network
Special thanks to the sponsors of our Art of Community Events.