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Summary for 4520 21st AVE / Parcel ID 1321300070 / Inv # UD033

Historic Name: Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity Common Name: Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity
Style: Colonial - Georgian Revival Neighborhood: University
Built By: Thomas & Grainger (Harlan Thomas), architect Year Built: 1914
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
This is one of the earlier fraternities built in today's Greek Row, immediately north of the University of Washington campus. It reflects a Colonial Revival style, which was commonly used for many of the early fraternity and sorority buildings at the University of Washington and was popular thoughout the United States in the early decades of the 20th century. This building was originally built as the Delta Kappa Epsilon house. DKE opened a charter at the University of Washington in 1910. Today the building houses the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. Harlan Thomas was a well-known Seattle architect and professor who headed the University of Washington Architecture School in the 1930s. Thomas' partner was Clyde Grainger, although Thomas was apparently responsible for this design. This fraternity building, although its integrity is compromised by additions and the aluminum cladding, is a good example of an early Greek Row building in a Colonial Revival style.
The building is a good example of the Georgian or Colonial Revival style, commonly found in New England, with its side gable roof, multi-paned double hung windows, central entrance and symmetrical proportions of the main building. The building has gabled dormers and a one-story wing on the south with a deck above, and a cross-gabled one-and-one-half story addition on the north. The original wood shingles have been replaced by aluminum siding that replicates a clapboard appearance. A kitchen fan is visible on the west elevation of the north wing. The recessed entry has two unfluted columns with Doric capitals. There is a broken pediment above the entrance. The chimneys are symmetrically located at either end of the main structure. Originally, there were two separate buildings, a dormitory and chapter house, and the two buildings were connected in about 1940. A dining room was added in the 1950s and a large rear addition was built in 1956. In 1972, repairs to fire damage were made. Despite extensive recladding, from the original wood shingles to aluminum siding, the building retains its basic plan and the windows appear intact. The rear addition detracts from the character of the main building. It is connected by a short second-floor skybridge. The addition is an undistinguished three-story wood-frame structure.

Detail for 4520 21st AVE / Parcel ID 1321300070 / Inv # UD033

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Metal - Aluminum Siding Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Domestic - Institutional Housing Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: two & ½
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Social Movements & Organizations
Changes to Plan: Moderate
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Moderate
Major Bibliographic References
City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Johnston, Norman, "Where the Greeks Came Marching In: Their 'Row' at the University of Washington." Unpublished manuscript for Columbia Magazine. Forthcoming 2002.
Divoky, Andrea. Notes on University of Washington Fraternities and Sororities, compiled in 1997 and updated in 2002.
Kreisman, Lawrence. "Frat Row, Students find a home away from home on a gracious boulevard." Seattle Times, February 12, 1989.

Photo collection for 4520 21st AVE / Parcel ID 1321300070 / Inv # UD033

Photo taken Jan 26, 2002
App v2.0.1.0