Phi Delta Theta Alpha Chapter House

1437 Washtenaw Ave Ann Arbor

University of Michigan: Architecture Tour/Phi Delta Theta Alpha Chapter House
Written By VAMONDE Ann Arbor

About the House

The Phi Delta Theta House located at 1437 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a splendid example of Georgian Revival architecture. The house, finished in 1903, is on the Michigan Register of Historic Places.

The Michigan Alpha chapter built their Georgian Revival style house between 1902 and 1903 as the fraternity's first permanent house on campus. Phi Delta Theta was the seventh fraternity established at the University of Michigan on November 28, 1864. The house was built with funds from alumni, faculty members and active chapter members.

The three story house was designed by Alpheus W. Chittenden and built by Koch brothers construction firm. The house was constructed with red brick on a raised foundation featuring a projecting central portico entrance supported with doric columns. The house has thirteen bedrooms and can house more than thirty residents.

On March 22, 1983, the State of Michigan Historic Preservation Office placed the house on the Michigan Register of Historic Places. The fraternity house has significance as an early Georgian Revival style residence and recalls one of the University of Michigan's oldest social fraternities. In the early 2000s, the Michigan Alpha chapter spent approximately $500,000 to completely renovate the house and restore its historic integrity. Elements of the interior finish were modified following major fires in the early 1970s and building code upgrades during the recent renovation; however, most of the original floor plan remains unchanged.

Georgian Revival Architecture

Georgian architecture is characterized by its proportion and balance; simple mathematical ratios were used to determine the height of a window in relation to its width or the shape of a room as a double cube. It's distinguished by its uniformly cut stonework, symmetry and adherence to classical rules.

Information courtesy of Wikipedia.

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