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Home, sweet home

DTD brothers settle into new Pro Row digs

Published: Thursday, November 17, 2011

Updated: Friday, November 18, 2011 02:11

DTD house

Virginia Bledsoe / Tufts Daily

Aquariums add a funky touch to the house.

As senior Andrew Brinson wakes up, the faint jingle of a dog's collar echoes down the hall. Brinson does not live at home, nor does his family pet live with him on campus. Instead, when Brinson gets up to a home−cooked breakfast, his fraternity brothers and their dog Caroline are there too, settling in to their newly renovated Delta Tau Delta (DTD) house at 98 Professors Row.

"Seeing it now and seeing how it started, it's a night and day difference," Brinson, the DTD house manager, said. "The house is gorgeous."

Twenty−five of the DTD brothers moved into the newly renovated house on Oct. 7 after the House Corporation, the fraternity's alumni organization who owns the lot, decided to revamp the house this summer. Alpha Epsilon Pi, who had lived in the house since 2007, moved back to their original house at 45 Sawyer Avenue this year.

"The house had just fallen into disrepair over the years," Brinson said. "No work had been done on the house in years and, as a result, the house just wasn't in good shape."

From new hardwood floors and carpeting to new furniture and windows, the House Corporation invested small alumni donations and took out a $400,000 loan to completely renovate the DTD house. While there are still a few things on the exterior of the house that need to be finished, DTD brothers were generally satisfied with the results of the four−month renovation, chapter president Alexander Freiberg, a junior, said.

Using blueprints from the original house and pictures from the early 1950s, the House Corporation designed the renovation to replicate what the original DTD house looked like, Brinson said. There are several modern components of the house, such as a room where brothers sit around a flat−screen television, but Freiberg said the House Corporation's plan to preserve the original look of the house was successful.

"It's equally, if not nicer than my home," Freiberg said. "I was surprised it was done so beautifully. They did a fantastic job and we're all really happy about it."

Preservation of the new house was thus its residents' first priority. When the DTD brothers hosted their first party Nov. 12, they blocked off the television room, living room and piano room on the first level of the house to ensure foot traffic didn't ruin any of the new floors, carpeting or furniture. The dining room, which guests all walked through, has spill−proof floors that are easy to clean, Freiberg said.

"We found that the plan of blocking off the very nice rooms made it easy to clean up," Freiberg said. "It was just a matter of mopping because it was raining out that night as well as wiping some foot and scuff marks off walls."

Party guests were only allowed into rooms where brothers would've been able to easily repair any mess, making clean−up the next day a quick two−hour affair.

Brinson anticipates that the house will remain in top shape.

"It's tough to put into words how long these guys have waited for this," Brinson said. "Anytime someone makes a mess, they don't mind cleaning up after themselves. We haven't had any issues."

Aside from the 25 brothers living at 98 Professors Row this semester, the fraternity's additional 20 members live elsewhere, both in dorms and in off−campus houses. The brothers typically unite during mealtimes, though, when their chef, Elaine Rotondi, serves them breakfast, lunch and dinner five days a week. The meals are paid for under the fraternity's meal plan and, Brinson said, are superb.

"With all due respect to Carmichael and Dewick, I prefer food at the fraternity," DTD director of communications Jeffrey York, a sophomore, said. "It's like a home−cooked meal, [and] it's nice being able to eat with 40 guys you get along with."

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