Michigan Alpha Chapter House of Phi Delta Theta
Designed by renowned architect Alpheus William Chittenden, the Michigan Alpha Chapter House of Phi Delta Theta is one of his most notable residential buildings. The house, finished during the fall of 1903, is on the Michigan Register of Historic Places. It is located at 1437 Washtenaw Avenue in Ann Arbor, Michigan near the southeast edge of the University of Michigan's Central Campus.
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 built by Koch Brothers construction firm replaced a mansion built on the site by University of Michigan Librarian Andrew Ten Brook in the 1860s. 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 accommodate 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 house is considered historically and architecturally significant. It is tied with Delta Upsilon's house as the oldest fraternity house on the University of Michigan campus still being used by the organization that built it. Both houses opened during 1903.
In the early 2000s, the Michigan Alpha Alumni Association spent approximately $500,000 to completely renovate the house and restore its historic integrity. Today, the exterior of the house is almost identical to Chittenden's original design. 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.