The Alpha Delta Pi Sorority house is the newest establishment on Greek Row off Central Avenue, but alumnae and current members have done their best to assure the $1 million home has elements of the chapter's 86-year history.
The seven-bedroom brick and Hardie board home, which opened Aug. 5, is the chapter's first to offer bedrooms to members. Those accommodations are also a first for the sorority in the University of Tennessee system.
"We wanted a place for the girls to be able to cook, eat and enjoy being together," said Harriette Brown Hogue, president of the chapter's House Corp.
"We also wanted the alumnae to use the house," added Hogue's sister, Genevieve Brown O'Neal, likewise a member of the House Corp.
The result is the 6,000-square-foot dwelling, which was designed by Bob Franklin of Franklin Associates, approved by the M.L. King Neighborhood Association, built by Bill Worley Construction and decorated by Dolores Wolfe.
The chapter has met in UTC's University Center for the past three years. Among the elements incorporated in the home from previous locations on Douglas Street are a memorial cabinet, glass crest, lion's head doorknockers and charter.
"It was important to all of us to bring the old to the new," said Beth Painter, treasurer of the House Corp.
The home also is peppered with lions and diamonds, symbols of the national sorority.
In addition to the knockers on the new home's back doors, there are silver lion handles on the arms of a leather chair in the foyer, lions on two buffet chairs in the chapter room, lion statues flanking the property, a pair of wire lions on the stairwell landing and a lion fountain in front of the house.
O'Neal's favorite, she said, is a framed print of Graeme Base's "Lazy Lions Lounging in the Library" on a small wall of the Margaret Peacock Library.
"No ADPi house can have too many lions," she said.
A blue diamond pattern is incorporated in the backsplash of the galley kitchen, which has two dishwashers, two microwave ovens, two refrigerators -- all energy-efficient -- granite countertops and a commercial-size ice maker. There are also two washers and dryers in the nearby laundry room.
"We chose the national symbols and colors and worked from there [in decorating the home]," Hogue said.
The sizable, first-floor chapter room features a coffered ceiling, natural oak flooring, four light-emitting eyebrow windows, new furniture that looks formal but feels comfortable and plenty of space for chapter and alumnae meetings.
The room is named in memory of Genevra Proffitt Brown, a chapter founder and the mother of Hogue and O'Neal. The grand piano in the room also was given by Brown's family.
The downstairs bedroom and bath are handicap-equipped, with two ramps providing access to the home from the rear parking area, though none of the present tenants need the accommodation, Painter said.
"The national organization wants that," she said, "and we don't want a physical handicap to prevent someone from being [a member]."
Each of the six 11-foot by 16-foot upstairs bedrooms, painted in natural beige and linen white, contains new dressers, desks and beds for each member. They also have in-room, custom-matched sink/vanities by Classic Cabinetry that free up space in the shared bathrooms.
The idea for the vanities, said Painter, came from the University of Tennessee at Martin, where her daughter, House Corp. member Ansley Davis, attended.
The second floor also contains a tiny private study room that has become known as The Lion's Den and one of several closets Worley carved out of otherwise useless space.
"We made the best use of every single place," said Painter. "That's thanks a lot to Mr. Bill [Worley]."
The home also is wired for Internet access, has keypad-entry outside doors, a security alarm system and provides efficiency through low-energy windows and two tankless gas water heaters.
"Everybody in the house could shower at the same time and never run out of [hot] water," Worley said.
The home was outfitted by $100,000 in gifts and pledges by some 215 donors and by the 152 engraved brick pavers that border the front sidewalk and were given in memory or in honor of ADPi members.
Residents pay $2,500 per semester to live in the home. Monthly expenses of the home are borne by the 150 members of the active chapter.
Contact Clint Cooper at email@example.com or 423-757-6497.
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