Jeramey Jannene
Friday Photos

New Sorority House Rises Near Marquette

But what happened to the last house on the lot?

By - Apr 22nd, 2022 05:36 pm
Pi Beta Phi sorority house construction, 1601 W. Kilbourn Ave. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Pi Beta Phi sorority house construction, 1601 W. Kilbourn Ave. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

The sisters of Pi Beta Phi will soon have their own house adjacent to the Marquette University campus.

Construction is nearing completion on a three-story, 9,432-square-foot house at 1601 W. Kilbourn Ave.

The new house will have the capacity for 24 occupants, according to a city building permit, across what is considered 17 housing units.

Developer Cedar Square will lease the property to the sorority. Cedar Square partner Sonny Bando, of the Santino Group, is serving as the general contractor. Architect Fouad Saab of Saab Design is leading the design. It’s one of many the partners have developed in the area.

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 had a house on it.

But their latest project contained a new challenge. There was still a house on the site at 853 N. 16th St.

In 2021, at the request of area Alderman Robert Bauman, the two-story structure was moved three blocks west instead of being demolished. You can now find it at 950 N. 19th St. The city accommodated the sale by selling a lot for $1 to create the site. DeVooght House Lifters pulled the 1,664-square-foot structure off its original foundation and relocated it to a brand new foundation, where it will continue its life as a student rental.

That house, built in 1885, is known as the Albert C. Rodee House in Wisconsin Historical Society records. “Late 19th-century frame residence with integrity of design. Residences of similar scale and style once lined the west side of this block; only this one remains,” the historical society reports. A garage that didn’t meet the same historical standards was demolished.

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.


Pre-Move Photos

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