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Talk:Kappa Sigma House

From Bloomingpedia


Crap. This thing went down and I wasn't there to take photos, despite living two blocks away. I wish I'd captured it for the site. -Chrobb 20:35, 21 May 2006 (EDT)

If it makes you feel better, I have 5 or so more pictures that I took of the house before it went down. I know you'd prefer to have your own but at least we got it before it went down. I'd like to see some pictures of the house when it was in use though so there are not boarded windows in the picture, etc. Guess we'll have to wait for someone to post them. I wish I had a chance to take a picture of the rubble from the demolition. That's already gone. Someone should get a picture of the site before they start building again. -- Mark 08:30, 22 May 2006 (EDT)

24 April 2006

I passed the pile of rubble on my way out of town, but I didn't stop to look.
It was way overdue I guess. I had read a little of the debate whether to save the old house, but knew they wouldn't. It seemed to be on it's last legs when I moved into it the Spring semester of 1973.
Then I realized the timing. Thirty years. Almost thirty years to the day- that was when my own Delta Chi fraternity chapter moved out of the old house- 1976. We had just won the Little 500 for the third time in four years., and according to the university, who rented it to us, the building was even then soon to be raised.
Kappa Delta Rho was then to be the last fraternity to occupy the old house- built back in 1925, I always heard, and that was a surprise. I don't know how many years then that they were at the location, while Delta Chi moved into a newer house, and became more like the bigger houses we were always at odds with.
It was America's Bi-Centenial year, and the basketball team had just won the NCAA in an undefeated season. I would have been graduating, but a change of majors put me on the five year plan. Plus I could then come back to ride another Little 5.
It was quite an emotional time for all of us. We avenged a second place finish, after being race favorites the year before. And satisfying for us bike team members who remained after Olympian Wayne Stetina was ruled ineligible. The race party that followed drew a huge crowd to the house and featured the locally favorite Pure Funk Band, and seemed the wildest affair any of us had ever seen- and that was saying something in our house! The quiet pile of rubble today is a much different scene than the swarmming crowd gathered around it then. The Old Stadium has long been replaced by the Arboteum. Yet it seems like yesterday
Delta Chi had first moved into the old house about 1972, when a fire leveled the former house on the other side of the quad. When I arrived that Sping of '73, our housing bill was lower than the dormitories, and no one was ever turned away. With barely thirty members, we needed the bodies.
And so we were a rag-tag group. Unprestigious and unpretentious. Yet our small size is exactly what seemed to incur the disdain of the larger houses when we began to have our success in Little 5, and we had a number of run-ins with the Student Foundation, who seemed to tailor eligibility rulings that affected only our riders, nd perhaps an innocent one or two others.
The old building was damp and musty even then. The stairs creaked and strained and the railings swayed. Ancient radiators kept it marginally heated, fueled by a huge intimidating boiler in the basement where we also kept our bikes, and where strange initiation rights were held. Still the house held an air of dignity- even past it's prime. And an air of mystery. As pledges we all searched for the infamous "secret room" Was there one? I'll never tell.
It stood three main floors. The first held the lounges and television room. Two floor were for the living quarters- with usually two to a room, although some had only one when I first got there. I lived on the third floor front corner with Danny Winters It had a great view of Third Street, Mother Bears and of the girls walking past from Forest Quad. The "cold dorm" communal sleeping area was in the large attic, where I usually only attempted to get some sleep. The kithchen and dining room were in the basement. (Until now, I never even realised that Hoagy Carmichael had lived there. Wow!)
That last year of 1976, another bike rider and I took over the large Chapter Room as our own, when the house was finally really full. He hung a sign on the door proclaiming it the "Phallus Palace" For a year or so it had been the frequent gathering place for a bunch of guys, when it was discovered that a couple next door in Married Housing were always doing the dirty without drawing their blinds.
I recall the last Active Meeting and how sad everyone was that we were leaving. Everything seemed to be happening in a whirlwind then. My own focus was myopic- Little 5 overshadowed all else.It seeed we were on the top of the world- that one very moment- thirty years ago. At that moment the house was alive as I had never seen it- An extended group of people- faculty, Little Sisters, alumni, girlfriends, parents and even The Pure Funk Band, all seemed like family then. and just as suddenly- it was over
The party ended and then the semester. We all left and we all never went back. I lived some of the next year in the new house and it just wasn't the same. Kappa Delta Rho moved into the old place and remained for several years. After that the university had some offices there.
Parties Studying. initiation. Little 5 strategy meetings. Serenades and food fights. The building stood empty for a number of years, but now even the ghosts are gone. The echoes of the past will be swept away with the pile of rubble. Sad.

user nancyewilson 25 July 2006