A Construction Tour of a Net-Zero Energy House

6 04 2016

A couple of weeks ago, Noah Demarest was kind enough to give a tour of the new net-zero energy single-family house underway at 228 West Spencer Street in the South Hill neighborhood.

Most readers of the blog will be familiar with Noah Demarest’s name – he’s the head architect of STREAM Collaborative, which has been involved in projects like 902 Dryden Road, 201 College Avenue, State Street Triangle and the Franklin proposal for condos at the Old Library site.


Noah’s a little more involved in this project than most – he’s in charge of the build-out, and the cost of construction is coming out of his own pocket. Local landlord Ed Cope is a silent partner in the project, having purchased the land from the previous owner for $15,000 last February. The sale came with a different set of house plans, and the unique topography and constraints of the site made it such that the BZA had to approve virtually any new construction proposed on the parcel – Noah drew up plans for a different design, and those were later accepted by the board.


You can see how that unique site topography plays in here. The framing, sheathing (ZIP system), roofing and panelling of the house was done by local company Ironwood Builders. With much of the exterior work completed, activity has shifted largely to the interior spaces, which Noah is doing with his own construction team.


My initial impression was that they were going for an exposed wood trim look similar to the framework of Tudor-style houses, but Noah says the trim will be painted the same color as the fiber cement siding. The shingles are a nice, Craftsman-style touch.

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First photo is looking down, second is looking up. The house, just under 1,000 SF, has living space on three levels – the kitchen and living room will be on the second floor, and a bedroom and bathroom are on the first and third floors. This will be put up on the market for sale once it is ready – not a rental. Noah envisions this being the type of house that would be great for a young couple or even a deep-pocketed grad student.

By the way, just mentioning for the sake of acknowledgement – I’m not a fan of ladders.

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As work moves closer to completion, a porch pergola will be built here.

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This will be a net-zero energy house, meaning zero net energy consumption – what gets taken from the grid also gets returned to the grid. In the case of this home, an off-site set of solar panels will offset the energy that is taken from the grid. The house will also achieve a very high degree of energy efficiency. One of the ways that’s being accomplished here is the use of an air source heat pump, which transfers heat from outside to inside a building (and vice versa) via a refrigeration compressor and condenser. The system can absorb heat from the outside air and transport it into the home, and can work in reverse during the summer, absorbing heat from inside the home and transporting it outside.

According to Noah, the system tends to be somewhat less efficient in extremely cold weather (-10 F or so; at that point it becomes difficult to extract usable heat energy), but is otherwise very capable for providing heating and cooling needs. Appliances will be all-electric, no gas.


The house is also very heavily insulated – 2.5 inches of foam, with the fiber cement siding on top of that.

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These last couple shots are from the bottom level – bathroom plumbing is in the process of being installed in the basement bathroom unit. The plan is to have the house ready for sale later this year.

One of the things that I personally am looking forward to is that Noah plans on making the costs of construction available to the city, as an example of what construction costs tend to look like for infill on an inner-city parcel. Having more examples to rely on, and a clear description of cost per square foot, gives the city more information to help guide its approach to planning and development. Noah noted during the tour was that the zero net-energy aspect is a relatively minor component in the expenses of the project.


End-of-Summer Construction Update, Part I

22 08 2012

I had the fortune this past weekend of being near Ithaca to attend a wedding. Deciding to kill two birds with one stone, I figured it was also a good opportunity to take photos of Ithaca’s ongoing construction. So I made the drive over and tackled as much as I could in three hours, all the while avoiding students, as if my aging is a contagious disease (mentally, this involved my brain screaming “Don’t look at me! I’m old! I was once like you, now I do quaint 20-something-year-old person things!”). Awkwardness aside, I was fairly successful in my photo tour.

The Belle Sherman Cottages project continues its prep work on the east side of on the edge of the city. The model house is complete and the roads have been laid. Despite the rather high prices, a casual inspection shows that at least two of the lots have been sold. In keeping with the theme of traditional streets, the street has been named “Walnut Street”, which is an interesting choice, since walnut trees can only grow in the moderated climate of the lake shore in these parts (same goes for peaches).

Phase II of the Coal Yard Apartments is complete. This phase brings to market 25 units, and ~40 beds.

Josh Lower’s Project (Collegetown Crossing) is tied up in red tape as it seeks a very generous parking variance. Meanwhile, the current building sits underutilized, and somewhat barren. Rather disturbingly, this was a trend around much of Collegetown, with many old storefronts, such as Mama T’s and CTP, having closed their doors. It gave the entire area a derelict, ghetto quality. Not to mention some of the houses and their treatment, which I’ll cover in a future entry.

The townhouses at 107 Cook have had their framework completed. As you might recall, 107 Cook was the site of a deadly house fire in May of 2011.

On a brighter note, 309 Eddy is complete. The building replaces a 3-story apartment house, and has 24 units with 41 beds. The building is tall enough to make an impact on the Collegetown skyline as seen from other parts of the city.

…and this image is a clue that Ithaca and the electrical authorities that be should consider burying the power lines under the street. Seriously.

The massive Collegetown Terrace project by Novarr-Mackesey. In Phase I, which was just completed, eight buildings were built (seven on East State, one on N. Quarry). This amounts to about 1/5th of the projects intended 1250 or so bedrooms. Parking is generally under the building on concrete stilts, which is bad in earthquake regions, but I suppose it works for seismically-inactive Ithaca. Some of the current buildings, such as the Delano House and the Valentine Apartments, are still standing and rented, waiting to be torn down in a later phase (III, I imagine). The Williams House is not yet renovated, serving as the site office while building continues. By my guess, building “3” from the development plans is Phase II, and is one of the long wavy buildings, specifically the one that sits closest to East State. Phase II is underway for a completion next summer, with phase III (the final phase) being completed in the summer of 2014. I suspect at that time, we’ll be hearing significant news about whatever N-M has proposed for all the properties they bought on the Palms block of Dryden Avenue – I expect something substantial, a la Collegetown Plaza.

Redevelopment of this mostly derelict and empty block would be a blessing at this point.

So, trying to break up my update into manageable chunks here (since the tech format here isn’t keen on photo-laden posts), I’ll post the rest of Ithaca and Cornell’s Campus later in the week.

Going Downtown

3 09 2008

Information that might be worth knowing about Downtown Ithaca, so you can impress your friends by making it sound like you actually leave Cornell and Collegetown.

Built in 1914, the quirky DeWitt Mall (named for Dewitt Clinton) formerly served as the city’s high school before the new facility on Lake Street was built in 1960-61. Apart from having a bunch or quirky shops and stores, the building’s sub-street storefront is home to Moosewood Restaurant (est. 1973 [1]) of vegetarian dining fame.

Seneca Place on the Commons is one of the largest buildings by gross area in downtown Ithaca. The 121-ft. tall, $32 million building was completed in 2005 by Criminelli Development [1]. It houses 100,000 sq. ft. of offices (Cornell is the primary tenant at about 70,000 sq. ft.) and a 104-room Hilton Garden Inn [2]. Starbucks and Kilpatrick’s faux-Irish pub make up the ground floor retail. The site was previous home to a parking area and two low-rise buildings.

The beige box on the left is the Community Bank Building, which was built about 1981. The previous structure on the site, a four-story YMCA building, burnt down in a reported arson in 1978. The building on the right is the older portion of the Ithaca Town Hall (not that it’s not Ithaca City Hall, which is another building), which dates from 1858[3]. Prior to renovation in 2000, it was the (vastly underused) main Post Office in Ithaca.

The M&T Bank Building, formally known as Tioga Place, was originally built in 1924 [4]. The awkward addition, like a piece of food stuck between someone’s two front teeth, was built on a half century later.

Center Ithaca, on the Commons. The building was built in 1981. It was an early attempt at a mixed-use structure designed to take advantage of the Commons and to make the area more lively. Well, didn’t really work out as planned. Rothschild’s, a department store that was the ground-floor anchor, closed early on. The 62 apartments were difficult to rent out at a time when downtowns were still considered dangerous places to be. And it ran over-budget, pushing its developer and the cash-strapped city into financial hell. Today, the building has worked out most of its kinks, but it didn’t fulfill its original goal, so it worked with mixed results.

Token Commons shot. Completed in 1974 on what was a part of State Street, the Commons was the brainchild on Thys Van Cort, the recently-selected city planner. Pedestrian malls were all the rage in the 1970s; most closed down within a few years. Ithaca’s has persisted, much to the delight (or loathing) of locals. Talk around, and you’ll find some adore the Commons, and some want it turned into a street with parking on the sides. Whichever you prefer, it’s there for the time being. The tracks in the foreground mark where the streetcars used to turn in the downtown area before they closed in 1935/36.

The foreground building that houses Viva Taqueria is the Wanzer Block, which dates from 1905. The building that hugs it in an L-shape is the Roy H. Park building, which was built in the 1990s. Roy H. Park was an Ithaca-residing executive for Proctor & Gamble who was also a substantial donor and investor in Ithaca College and  the surrounding area.

For now, it’s a parking lot. By 2010, as long as things stay on schedule, this will be the site of a 9-story, $17 million,  102-room Radisson hotel by Rimland Associates (rumors have it to be a Radisson, but it will be a recognized chain that occupies the new building) [6].

The center building is the Tompkins County Health Services Building, constructed in 1990 [7]. On the right is the nearly-finished Cayuga Green Apartments, a 59-unit building that will house Cinemapolis on the streetfront. The Parking garage on the left (built in 2005), will see the addition of a seven-story, 30-unit condo tower (Cayuga Green Condos) on the backside (the side facing this photo).

I know, bad photo, but it’s visible most everywhere else in Ithaca City. Limestone Tower, built in 1932, is slated for an apartment conversion and renovation by the Ithaca Rental Company and its head, Jason Fane. The building  was originally built for the G.L.F. Exchange Farmers’ Association.

Just outside of downtown is the William Henry Miller Inn. William Henry Miller, of course, was one of the first Cornell architect graduates, and also designed Uris Libe and Boardman Hall. He designed this house and its carriage house, which were built in 1880 and 1892 respectively [8].










North by Northwest of Campus

12 08 2008

The house of the Chi Psi fraternity of Cornell University. Chi Psi has had a colorful if traumatic history in its century-plus long history here at Cornell. The Chapter at Cornell was founded in 1869. While they lived elsewhere, Jennie McGraw, the daughter of John McGraw, who was a wealthy lumber merchant and one of the first trustees of Cornell (for whom McGraw Hall is named) [1], fell in love with the first university librarian, Daniel Willard Fiske. She was old for loving at the time, pushing forty. She was also suffering from terminal tuberculosis. Regardless, she and Willard eloped and engaged in a whirlwind tour of Europe, while an opulent mansion was built on the edge of the gorge. She lived just long enough to see it with her own eyes, passing as they arrived home in 1881 [2]. Willard moved in, but his behavior was considered a little too exuberant for someone whose wife just died. Plus, due to some legal issues with Jennie’s will (which might make for a good entry another day), he and Cornell ended up on really bad terms, and he spent most of the rest of his life in Italy (on the bright side, he somewhat reconciled with Cornell in later years and donated his library upon his death in 1904 [3]).

That story is tangent to Chi Psi. Willard sold the opulent McGraw-Fiske mansion to the fraternity around 1881[4]. It was during the cold night of December 6th 1906 that the second deadliest campus tragedy in Cornell’s history occurred.

Sources tend to indicate it was caused by flammable polish being used on the floors. Others have gone as far to suggest that the house was cursed due to Jenny and Willard’s indiscretions. Regardless, the house caught fire. And in the days before real fire engines, any water to be used on the house (that wasn’t frozen) was a mere trickle. Of the twenty-six fraternity brothers living in the house, four died. When one of the exterior stone walls collapsed, it landed on volunteer firemen from the city of Ithaca, killing three of them. By the end of the night, the house was destroyed, and seven people were dead [5].

Photo Courtesy of "Greetings from Ithaca"

Photo Courtesy of “Greetings from Ithaca”

Through the tragedy, the fraternity persevered. They built the current house the following year (known as “The Lodge”), and have lived there since.

So, I took two photos partially to get a good idea of the shape and ornamentation of the house, but more because a woman in a towel came up from the gorge as I was taking photos…and I didn’t want to give the wrong idea. I ran south after a large guy appeared by her side, and she probably thinks I’m a creeper and pervert. I prefer photos of ornamental busts to women’s busts.


The Thurston Court Apartments is a 22-person university-owned apartment building with one and two-bedroom student apartments [6]. Primarily used for grad housing, in recent years the building has been opened up to undergrads as well. The building was built in 1932 (fun fact: the entire building was once painted white, including the ornamentation).

The house of Seal and Serpent fraternity, Cornell’s independent fraternity. The fraternity was founded in 1905, and the current house was built in 1929 in the Tudor Style [7]. In the past several years, the fraternity has suffered from a chronic shortage of interest; rumor mill says they only had three pledges last spring.

Maybe this has something to do with it:

“…Fraternities have a reason to fear such stereotyping. The Seal and Serpent society, a house which was primarily gay in the 1980s but now has just two gay brothers out of 16, has had some difficulty overcoming “the gay” label during rush…”

I s’pose this doesn’t help – I still hear this from a lot of people both in and out of the Greek community  (the quote is from a Nov. 2000 Sun article).  Going through this blog’s search bar history, there are over 200 hits for “gay fraternity”.  I’m willing to bet it’s not with good intention.


The house of Alpha Phi sorority. Alpha Phi Cornell was founded in 1889 with assistance from the Alpha Chapter at Syracuse University [8]. Originally based out of Sage College, they lived with Alpha Zeta for a year  and on their own in a couple different houses until they bought their current house from an Alpha Phi alum in 1921. The side wings were added in 1937, and a back wing (not pictured) was added in 1961. The chapter went under a reorganization sometime in the early 1990s due to low membership intake, but I’ve found nothing that indicates it ever closed. Currently, Alpha Phi has one of the highest sorority membership numbers at Cornell.

Hardly 500 feet away is the house of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. I know Kappa has been in the news lately; and it really sucks to be them right now (unless you like embarrassment over attention). The sorority’s Cornell (Psi) chapter was founded in 1883, and moved into the current house in 1921 [9]. The chapter was inactive from 1969 to 1977, a time period well-known for its anti-Greek sentiment.

Louie’s Lunch was founded in around 1918 by Louie Zounakos, who emigrated to NYC from Greece, and later moved up to Ithaca. The original Louie operated the truck up until 1955 [10]. The original truck was replaced in the late 1940s. The truck was then owned by the Machen family until 1997, and is now currently operated by Ron Beck. I do have a preference to one truck over the other, but I won’t say which.


Photo courtesy of “Greetings from Ithaca”

The house of Zeta Psi fraternity. The house, built in 1930, was originally that of Theta Xi. Zeta Psi, meanwhile, has the distinction of being the first fraternity founded by Cornell, even if it was decided by a coin flip (see the entry for Chi Phi). The chapter built a luxurious house in 1891 on the corner of Williams Street and Stewart Avenue, but moved out in the 1940s due to low numbers as brothers left to go fight in WWII. The original house burnt down in the late 1940s, and was replaced by a parking lot. In the meanwhile, Zeta Psi lived with Young Israel for a short while before moving into 660 Stewart Avenue in the late 1950s. A donation from a wealthy alumnus allowed them to buy the current house in 1972 [11].





[4]http://www.adphicornell.org/adphicor/files/FraternityRow.pdf ***

***Page 10 has a picture of the McGraw estate in its heyday









Northwest of Campus

7 08 2008

The house of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. Sigma Alpha Epsilon is one of those fraternities that tends to come to mind when people want to typecast the Greek system at Cornell. It’s large (~80 men), and prestigious, and is the subject of so many dirty rumors (true or not) that it would make Lindsay Lohan blush. The house goes by the formal name “Hillcrest”, and was built in 1915 [1]. An addition was built in the early 1960s (on the left side of the photo). This is the fourth house of SAE and the second “Hillcrest”, the first having burnt down in a spectacular fire around 1911. SAE and Chi Psi have a standing rivalry.

Next door to SAE is Alpha Delta Phi, colloquially known as Alpha Delt. The fraternity was established in 1868, and was among the first to build a chapter house, which was constructed in 1878 [2]. As students moved to different areas of campus, Alpha Delt launched plans to construct a new building in the prairie house style (which you can see on their homepage). This house was built around 1903, but due to electrical malfunctions, burnt down in a spectacular fire in February 1929. A new house, built in the collegiate gothic style (the current house) was built in 1931.

Alpha Delt has always struck me as a more upscale version of SAE. But, they’re not above visual humor; like their parking lot for instance.

I wouldn’t be a good photographer if I didn’t get a photo of their super-sketchy windowless ritual building in front of the house.  Rumor mill says someone received third-degree burns in a ritual gone wrong two years ago at their initiation. Ah, so this is why fraternities like Delta Upsilon and Phi Kappa Tau were founded; to go against the cloak-and-dagger behaviors of other organizations.


Although in a tightly packed area of high-profile houses, Phi Gamma Delta, or FIJI as it more commonly known, retains a distinct character. The house, known as “The Oaks”, is fairly nice-looking from the outside, especially since it was built around the 1900s. The original house, a private residence the fraternity bought,  looked like this before the extensive additions and modifications:

Throwing this disclaimer out there, I’m not a huge FIJI fan. The inside kinda scared me. That, and the Halloween party I went to there freshman year where some guy scantily-clad in leather was randomly hitting people in the crowd with a whip as he stood on a table. After the marks I received from that, I haven’t been inside since. Opinions aside, it’s a large house with a large membership.

One last thing…it rained shortly after I had taken the house photo. The mattress in the pickup was still there when I passed by a second time…and it was thoroughly soaked.


Mixed into the hodgepodge of frats is Watermargin, a co-op established in 1947 (co-ed since 1961/1968, the latter being the year it was formally approved[3]) by WWII verterans to promote undertanding and diversity in religion and race [94]. The name Watermargin comes from a Chinese Classical literary work, translated by Pearl Buck (All Men Are Brothers), in which fugitives fight the injustice of the Ming Dynasty at the water’s margin. Prior to 1947, the house served as a home for Phi Kappa Psi. The house was built in 1890 in the Colonial Revival style [5]. I’m still trying to determine what the house served as between 1912 and 1947.

Next door and contuinuing up University Avenue is Theta Delta Chi. They are colloquially known as “Thumpty”, or the much-maligned “Theta Drug”, supposedly because of the relative ease of obtaining drugs at the house. The house dates from the 1920s, making it one of the later constructions in the area. The running joke that I’m aware of suggests that its members are stoned all the time. Still, although they are the put of many jokes, they’ve managed to stay continuously active at Cornell since 1870, so they might as well take it in stride.

Sigma Pi is further up University Avenue. The original house on the property was built in 1870, burnt down in 1994, and a new, roughly-similar looking house, was designed by local architect Jagat Sharma and built in 1995 [6]. The fraternity was one of the largest at Cornell, until a nasty incident involving a Thanksgiving dinner gone wrong caused four freshmen to have to get their stomachs pumped[7], and Sig Pi losing recognition from the university (i.e. no pledge class). So, how about that fall rush…?

Going back the other way on University, we have Von Cramm Hall (I’ll hit Chi Psi at a later date). The co-op was founded in 1956 by an endowment from Thomas Gilchrist, in memory of his friend Baron Von Cramm. a Nazi German military officer who died trying to stop the Soviet retreat in 1941[8]. It is also the largest co-op, at 32 members. The house became open to women in the 1970s, and has a very strong leftist bent (Redbud Woods…). The house itself was built in 1955, standing on the property of one of the trio of homes owned by Robert Treman. The house, more of the textbook-style tudor, burned in 1944 [9].

Sigma Nu’s house is tucked way at the end of Willard Way. The house dates from about 1910. The house is one of the more obscure ones to try and locate, but it has fantastic views of the West Hill in the town of Ithaca. Sigma Nu Cornell, founded in 1901, is a fraternity with a strong athletic presence.

Missed it the first time, not the second time. Sigma Phi Epsilon’s house on McGraw Place. The house was built in 1965 [10], replacing their former house at 112 Edgemoor Lane. After Sig Ep was gone in 2004 (google it, rumor mill had a field day with that one), ATO occupied the house, and Delta Chi shared it with them when they were rechaptered in 2006-07.

The Kahin Center is the second of the Treman trio. It was remodeled in 1945 as a lodge and as a communication arts center in 1970 [11]. It also mirrored the first house that burned in 1944.

The last of the trio is 660 Stewart Avenue, built about 1902 as the home of Elizabeth Treman and her husband Mynderse Van Cleef [11b]. The house of Zeta Psi for a few decades ending in 1969, the house is currently a 27-person co-op. Unlike most co-ops, this one does not have a meal plan [12].

This was really cool, since it has polished wood and it provided shelter from a sudden rainstorm. “The Chapel for Prayer and Meditation”. And what a nice little chapel it is. On the outside was the posting for a service to Mahatma Gandhi on 9/11/07. And the other events that have happened on 9/11.

And it had a great view. And this is where I’ll leave off for now.










[10] http://www.rso.cornell.edu/sigep/History.html




Another Random Cornell Heights Tour

23 07 2008

The house of Acacia fraternity. It was built in 1907 for a prominent professor, and designed by architect Arthur Gibb in the Prairie House style.  Gibb was also responsible for the design of Baker Lab on campus (which was technically designed around 1910, even if it wasn’t completed until 1921) [1]. The house, called “Northcote”, was first occupied by Acacia in 1934, with an additional dorm wing constructed around 1958. Today, in terms of distance from campus, Northcote is probably one of the farthest.

Greystone Manor, the house of Sigma Chi fraternity. It is been my observation that Sigma Chi is probably one of the most low-key fraternities of Cornell. There’s only a flag to announce their existence at their house, they have no house web site, etc. However, this doesn’t mean that the house doesn’t have a history worth sharing. The house was the home of silent-film star Irene Castle around 1919, when the silent-film industry was still thriving in the Ithaca area. It was bought by Sigma Chi in 1923, and has been in their possession ever since.

EDIT: So, a kind reader was generous to share this extra bit of information about the history of the house:

“The Greystone house was built by Alice G. McCloskey (of the Nature Studies department and editor of the Rural School Leaflet) and another woman. By the time Alice died 19 Oct 1915 she was the owner of the house. She left the house to her assistant, Edward Mowbray Tuttle (my husband’s maternal grandfather). Edward married in October 1919 and sold the Greystone to the silent film start in 1919. So there is more history than you think.”

On that note, Irene Castle was married to one of Treman family, but left Ithaca (and him) in 1923.

Not a frat house, but this is an amazing looking house regardless. Zillow.com indicates it was built in 1910. It’s across the street from Sigma Chi.

The house of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity on Ridgewood Road. The house dates from the 19th century, but Phi Delta Theta has made it home for the vast majority of its life. Phi Delta Theta is a dry fraternity, meaning that in its house, there is no alcohol consumption; for that, they can go to their annex at 210 Thurston. The house went dry in 2000, and all 40 current brothers at the time resigned in protest. If any of you are familiar with author Scott Conroe’s It Takes Just Pride, then you’ll recognize that this is one of the fraternities covered in the book. I also want to say that this is one of the two houses where someone chased me off the property for taking photos. Someone was in a foul mood, I guess.

The house of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority. AOPi moved in in fall 2006. Prior to that, this house served as the home of Theta Chi for about 25 years. Theta Chi was expelled from campus in 1999, and then the house was briefly occupied by AEPi and former Theta Chi pledges, and finally AEPi moved back to their Thurston house in fall 2001. Theta Chi attempted a reorganization in 2003 but it did not last, and the house sat vacant until AOPi bought the facility. AOPi first came back to Cornell in 1989 after a 25-year hiatus; they lived briefly in AXiD’s house and 210 Thurston before moving into 14 South Avenue on West Campus in 1991 [2]. Prior to Theta Chi, this house was the home of a fraternity by the name Tau Delta Phi. While the house has been home to a number of GLOs, it was originally built in 1925-26 for Professor Ernest T. Paine[3].

Continuing up Ridgewood is Pi Kappa Phi. The house is affectionately known as “Greentrees”, a name that hails from its days as the house of Phi Kappa Sigma before they folded in 1991. The name comes from the seven forested acres the house sits on. The property also at one point maintained an in-ground pool, a rarity for Ithaca. The house was originally home to George Morse of Morse Chain Company (now Emerson Power Transmission, a major private-sector employer in Ithaca). Phi Kappa Sigma, the Skulls, lived in the house from 1935 to 1991. In the meanwhile, Phi Kappa Phi lived at 722 University Avenue from 1949 to 1986, when the chapter closed; it was reorganized in 1990, and moved into this house the following year [4].

Across the street is Beta Theta Pi fraternity. Now, I must say that this house is spectacular from the outside; but I was appalled the few times I’ve been in there (a couple of my friends are brothers at Beta). Anyways, Beta (originally Alpha Sigma Chi), lived in Pi Kappa Alpha’s house until about 1906, when “Castle on the Rock” was constructed [5].

Venison Anyone?

Wrapping up Ridgewood is Sigma Delta Tau sorority. The Alpha chapter was founded in 1917 as Sigma Delta Phi, but changed when it was founded the letters conflicted with another organization (that seems to happen quite a bit) [6]. The house has a stunningly unattractive addition that probably dates from the 1960s, and I tried my best to not photograph it. The rest of the house looks very classy, dating from 1900-1910.