History of the Lot and Building at 3401
Before Delta Phi Epsilon Moved There
THE EARLIEST KNOWN DEPICTION OF THE BUILDING
THAT IS NOW THE ALPHA CHAPTER HOUSE
The above print, published in 1883, shows the newly built home of Wm.
at the northwest corner of the intersection of
Frederick and Prospect Streets in Georgetown
The House is shown in the upper right of this illustration, where
Frederick Street meets the crease on the map.
A full-color original of this print is on display in the 2nd floor
of the Georgetown Park Mall at Wisconsin Avenue & M Street.
(For a much clearer copy of this map.
one that you can zoom in on to see any specific location,
Delta Phi Epsilon's House is built on what is now called Lot 86
of Square 1221 of the City of Washington. This Lot lies at the
southeastern corner of the city block bordered by Prospect Street, N
Street, 34th Street and 35th Street. The map detail shown below
depicts all the buildings that existed on this city block in
SQUARE 1221 OF THE CITY OF WASHINGTON
when Georgetown's street numbers were merged with Washington's,
until the mid-1920s,
the various houses on the north side of Prospect Avenue (now Street)
had the following address numbers:
3425 (built in 1798 by John Thomson Mason, later called "Quality
and now the home of Delta Phi Epsilon honorary brother, former U.S.
Sen. Claiborne deB. Pell of Rhode Island),
3419 (built in 1890 by ?),
3417 (built in 1890 by ?),
3515 (built in 1872 by James Garrity),
3413 (built in 1866 by James Garrity),
3411 & 3409 (both built in 1859 by William H. & Joseph
and 3403 (the "Delta Phi Epsilon House," but now numbered 3401, built
in 1869-70 by William Seymour).
At present, the address numbers for this north side of
Prospect Street are:
3425, 3421, 3419, 3417, 3515, 3413, 3411, 3409, 3405, and 3401
(3421 was added in 1948 when the widow of Sir Wilmot Lewis
separated the servants' quarters at the rear of 3425,
greatly erpanded them, and gave them their own access to Prospect
3405 was added in 1923-24 when Patrick Dempsey built the apartment
building now next to the Fraternity House;
and "3401" was chosen in 1923-24 to replace "3403" is the street
address for the building that is now the Fraternity House )
The two darkly shaded areas shown on the above map represent the
area's only two pre-1800 houses
- "Quality Hill" and "Halcyon House."
Modern Lot 86, the site of the Delta Phi Epsilon House, is a
rectangular parcel of land 27.5 feet wide and 73 feet deep. This lot,
along with Lot 84 behind it and Lot 87 beside it, were all once known
as Lot 85 and comprised most of the Old Georgetown Lot 31. Shown
below is a reproduction of the very first Plat of Georgetown, drawn
at the time the town was founded in 1751. Lot 31 is the oddly shaped,
five-sided parcel of land at the far upper left. The easternmost
strip of that Lot 31 later became Frederick (34th) Street. Another
strip, was cut across the middle of Lot 31 to become Prospect Street.
In 1751, though, when this Plat was drawn, there were only two
streets in all of Georgetown: Wisconsin Avenue, then called "High
Street" to the north of the present M Street and "Water Street" to
the south, and M Street, then called "Bridge Street" to the east of
the present Wisconsin Avenue and "The Falls Street" to the west.
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CONTINUE WITH THIS HISTORY.
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