Architectural History Minute
Alpha Delta Phi – 777 Stewart Ave
Designed/Built: (1931), John Russell Pope
The fraternity was founded at Cornell in 1869 and moved to its own purpose built house in 1878. Located at the corner of Buffalo Street and Schuyler place, it was the first fraternity house at Cornell. In 1900, the frat purchased a parcel known as “the Gauntlet” on Stewart Ave, and their new lodge was completed in 1903. The land had been subdivided from the McGraw property in 1890. The lodge was destroyed by fire in 1929. However the “goat house” or carriage house across the driveway survived.
The present house was completed in the fall of 1931. Designed by American architect John Russell Pope, the replacement lodge is a large stone Jacobethan revival dwelling featuring a crenellated roof parapet, stone door and window surrounds, slate roof, and a giant bay window adjacent to the main entrance. The baronial air on the exterior continues inside with a double height great hall and wood paneled public rooms.
Delta Chi – 102 The Knoll
Designed/Built: (1914-15), Arthur N. Gibb and Orman Waltz
Delta Chi fraternity was founded at Cornell in 1890 by a small group of law school students. The frat’s earliest housing in Collegetown was destroyed by (what else) a life threatening fire. Feeling a great social disadvantage being without a residence, the members acquired the Alpha Delta Phi house, which was recently vacated for a more desirable on-campus location.
In 1914 construction began on a new residence in a neighborhood known as Cornell heights atop ‘The Knoll’. This new site provided sweeping views of the valley and Ithaca, and Cayuga Lake. The Tudor Revival chapter house was designed by the local firm of Gibb and Waltz. The facade is dominated by a steeply pitched, 1 1/2 story dormer above the recessed double entry doors set in a stone surround. The building’s site, size and combination of exterior materials make this one of the most notable designs of the neighborhood.
In 2005 Delta Chi undertook a major renovation, restoring many of the exterior and interior historic features, as well as the weeding out the fraternity as well. Today Delta Chi, with its well appointed public spaces and Display of artifacts commemorating achievements of the chapter alumni, presents a fine example of the “purpose built” fraternity
· Historic Ithaca
· Pictures: yours truly
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HOLT Architects, P.C.
217 N. Aurora St.
Ithaca, NY 14850
phone 607 273-7600 Ext. 151
fax 607 273-0475