Sunday, April 10, 2011

Phi Delta Theta House--1908/1925/2011

Most Butler University fraternity and sororities bought or leased existing homes throughout Irvington. Sometimes they would only stay in a house for one or two years before moving on to a larger home. Phi Delta Theta Fraternity is one of those rare exceptions as they actually built a house in the neighborhood. Founded in 1859 at the downtown campus, the organization was one of the most active while at Irvington. They originally met above Moore's Hall (demolished) on South Aududon Road. In 1908, they constructed a house at the intersection of what was then Emerson Avenue and East Washington Street. The home sat in a beautiful location and was a lovely site for campus dances and parties. However, within two years the structure sat in the way of a planned boulevard called Pleasant Run Parkway designed by George Kessler. The chapter lost most of their real estate and the house was moved to the back of the lot.

You will note that on the facade of the fireplace, the Phi Delts placed part of their crest, a sword shaped like a cross. In the top photo, you can see the home shortly after it was built in 1908. Some features look like they were changed when it was moved to its present location in 1910 or 11. In the second photo you can see the Phi Delta Theta crest. In the third picture you can see the home as it appeared in 1924. By this point, members of the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity moved into the home as the Phi Delts needed a larger house and they moved to 15 North Hawthorne Lane. In the bottom photos you can see what the home looks like in 2011. The home has had a variety of addresses as the city struggled to decide what street it was really on. For many years it was known as 6 North Pleasant Run Parkway, but today it is numbered at 5020 East Washington Street. After Butler moved out of Irvington in 1928, the home served as private residence for many families.

Underneath that vinyl siding is dark stained wood just waiting to emerge. You will note that the porch has also been enclosed. Perhaps someday this home shall return to its original craftsman era design.


  1. Any knowledge of what happened to the chimney? I can see there is more limestone decor than the cross in the original photo and it appears that it was rebuilt/rebricked...something?

  2. I believe that when they moved the house to the back of the lot they changed some features including the fireplace and the porch. I think you are correct in that it has been rebuilt.