The DKE house at 1912 Geddes Avenue, 1913-1967

DKE fraternity
(Click for larger view.)
Submitted by Wystan Stevens

I looked up the City Directory information on the house at 1912 Geddes (across from the entrance to the Arboretum), which is pictured here on a lovely handcolored Albertype postcard view, from c. 1930, that was published by Ann Arbor book merchant George Wahr. The photo shows the house after it had become home to the Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) Fraternity, which was Gerald Ford's fraternity while he was a student at Michigan in the 1930s.

This house was built as a private residence for George W. Millen, and is first listed in the 1913 directory. Millen was a vice president of Ann Arbor's Farmers and Mechanics Bank.

The Dekes moved here when their former home on State Street was demolished for construction of the U-M Law Quadrangle. They had occupied that house for about 35 years. The DKE Shant, their ceremonial meeting place on East William, never was a residence.

When Millen left 1912 Geddes, he moved to 816 East University Avenue. The Dekes were here until 1967, when the house burned down. Another building now occupies the site, but the lot was empty for quite a few years after the old one burned.


From Susan Wineberg

I can add a little more.

In 1970, UM built a house here for Nu Sigma Nu, which was vacating its frat house at 1015 East University for the University. In 2004, a small article appeared in the paper saying that the U was selling the house to Nu Sigma Nu and giving it a break on the appraisal. They had occupied it since 1970. According to Lorch's notes, the original house was designed by Smith, Hinchman and Grylls. And Colvin Robinson designed the homes on Ruthven Place, developed by John McMullen Building Co in 1951. 8 houses were built on land purchased from the DKE fraternity.