Historic Home Will Be Moved Three Blocks
To make way for new Marquette sorority building, 1885 home at 16th and Kilbourn moving to lot on 19th St.
The sisters of Pi Beta Phi are getting a new sorority house near Marquette University.
But the location they’ve selected to build a new structure on already has a house on it. At least for now.
DeVooght House Lifters has been contracted for the work, with the house already lifted from its current foundation and the new foundation on N. 19th St. ready to go.
Area Alderman Robert Bauman is also ready for the move to happen.
“Do whatever has to be done to help them along because we want to encourage that activity,” said Bauman, a passionate historic preservation advocate, to Department of Neighborhood Services operations director Thomas G. Mishefske on Monday during an unrelated committee meeting.
The city is also supporting the move via its sale of the new site on 19th St. for $1. An affiliate of Cedar Square purchased the 4,988-square-foot lot in October.
Saab told Urban Milwaukee that once it starts moving the house, it will reach its new location in approximately one hour.
Cedar Square is technically engaging in the move voluntarily. “The city had asked us to see if we could preserve it,” said Saab. He said upon review it proved financially feasible. It also avoided any fight over historic preservation.
Additions to the house were made in 1894 and 1904. Once moved it will receive another.
A permit pending before the city shows that a one-story, 700-square-foot addition will be constructed to the south. It will overlook Marquette’s Norris Park playfield.
A garage at the rear of the 16th Street property has been demolished.
New Sorority House
The new sorority house will rise three stories and include more than 9,000 square feet of living space. A building permit application says it will have 17 units. It will also face north, with an address of 1601 W. Kilbourn Ave.
The Wisconsin Delta chapter of Pi Beta Phi was established in 1990 and is currently based out of the house at 939 N. 15th St. The national organization, with a slogan of “friends & leaders for life,” dates back to 1867.
The new house, designed by Saab and leased to the chapter by Cedar Square, is one of many the partners have developed in the area for sororities.
Houses were built in 2015 at 1436 W. Kilbourn Ave. for Alpha Xi Delta and in 2016 at 1515 W. Kilbourn Ave. for Sigma Kappa and 1517 W. Kilbourn Ave. for Alpha Phi. Each was developed atop a vacant lot or surface parking lot that once held a house.