Cayuga Heights Photo Tour, 7/12

12 07 2008

The house of the fraternity Tau Kappa Epsilon. The house has been occupied by the fraternity  since 1927. TKE was originally Kappa Psi, which became the Sigma Chapter of TKE in 1923. During this same time period, the local fraternity Scorpion was founded. The first TKE disbanded due to the hard times caused by the Great Depression, but Scorpion became the new affiliate of TKE (hence Scorpion chapter, which in my opinion is a really cool chapter name) in 1940. The fraternity Sigma Phi Sigma also merged with TKE in 1941 [1].

Farther up Highland we have the fraternity Tau Epsilon Phi. Um, their house could look better. I felt a little bad taking a photo of it and knowing I’d be putting it up, because it really was in shabby condition. The house was actually once the wing of the old house; they leased the property in 1949, and the wind was built in 1961. However, a fire “of unknown origin” destroyed the original house, so a new house was built connected to the relatively new wing in the mid 1960s. The building was last renovated in 1977 [2].

Speaking of which, this is the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity house. The house was built as an experiment by the architecture school in 1909 to teast the viability for poured cement for all the outside walls. KDR first occupied this property in 1952, and the new wing (the part on the left) was added in 1964 [3]. At least KDR is raising funds to repair the roof, it looks like it might need it.

So this was a treat to find. Today, this is the Westbourne Apartments building. Back in the day, it used to belong to a fraternity called Beta Sigma Rho. Beta Sigma Rho, or Beta Samach as it was originally called, was founded in 1910 by four Cornell students who were excluded from the current system because of their Jewish religion. By 1950, there were thirteen chapters. However, all good things come ot an end. Beta Sigma Rho’s Alpha Chapter, suffering from dwindling interest, merged with Pi Lamda Phi in 1972. The Pi Lams moved in to Beta’s house, and the organization adopted the name Pi Lambda Phi. The original Pi Lambda Phi house was closed (today, it’s the undergraduate admissions office). Then the Beta’s house was closed in 1978, and that ended their run at Cornell. One chapter survives; the Beta chapter at Penn state felt it would be better to go independent in 1975, so they did. Today, they have survived there as Beta Sigma Beta fraternity [4].

The house of Alpha Gamma Rho (AGR) fraternity. Originally known as Caduceus chapter,  (now Zeta- for those of you wondering, a caduceus is the double helix with the snakes [5]), Alpha Gamma Rho has occupied this property since 1916, with the current house being constructed in 1961 [6]. Alpha Gamma Rho is the other agricultural fraternity (AGR = agriculture…like we couldn’t figure that out.)

 

[1]http://www.scorpiontke.org/content/section/6/30/

[2]http://www.dos.cornell.edu/dos/greek/chapter_details.cfm?id=3271

[3]http://www.dos.cornell.edu/dos/greek/chapter_details.cfm?id=3251

[4]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta_Sigma_Beta

[5]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caduceus

[6]http://www.dos.cornell.edu/dos/greek/chapter_details.cfm?id=4669


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2 05 2013
Jay Wolman

Hi, I am working on preserving the legacy of the Tau Epsilon Phi chapter at Cornell. May I have permission to use your photograph for non-commercial purposes relative to alumni of the chapter? Thank you for your help.

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