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My Old House: 339 Kiefaber St.

8:40 AM  Apr 12th, 2011
by Seetha Sankaranarayan '12 • photos by Mark Albain ’12

Brian Lepa ’00 wrote in asking about the landlord house where five men, three women and a cat lived from 1999-2000. Now, it’s occupied by 10 women who love the structure’s expansive layout and quirky history.

Lepa and his roommates agreed that 339 Kiefaber has “the best front porch” in the student neighborhood. The current residents have been trying to take a group photo on it all year.The first-floor living room is decorated with photographs and sticky notes from visiting friends. “We have three other people who pretend they live here,” one housemate said. “This is usually where they end up.”The downstairs kitchen seats plenty, though the women say they don’t cook often. The doorway is a relic from the Lepa era. His roommates made their way through the wall, which previously divided the front and back of the house.We asked this occupant how she got stuck with the smallest bedroom. “I got last pick of the singles,” she said, “but at least I got a single so I can’t complain too much.”When the landlord stopped by to make repairs, we asked him about Lepa’s hole in the wall. He told us each batch of residents brought changes to the house, including new bathroom fixtures and paint colors.Earlier this year, the oven in this upstairs kitchen caught on fire. “There wasn’t even food in it,” said the student who had been using it. “We thought she was yelling, ‘Spider!’” said her roommates.With so many decorative touches, it’s easy to see why the women who live in this room call it their favorite. All 10 residents are in Greek organizations and have been friends for several years.When the weather is nice, the housemates go up into the attic and yell to passersby from the windows. The space is filled with miscellaneous furniture from past residents.The residents call the back area of the house the “servants’ quarters” for its proximity to the kitchen and small “nook” area. The roommates who live back here try to convince friends to crash on this couch.The roommates in the “servants’ quarters” rearranged the bed hotel-style midway through the year so they could jump back and forth between then. It was fun until both bed frames broke.The back bathroom has two sinks and a slightly slanted floor, which sometimes make showering seem hazardous.One housemate gives a mock historical tour of the house, which always starts at the hitching post where “James and Eleanor Kiefaber got married.”

One Response to My Old House: 339 Kiefaber St.

  1. Nancy Eisenhauer Reed says:

    I lived in this house in the 1979-80 school year. It was divided into 5 apartments, all singles. The current kitchen was my living room/dining room/kitchen. The bathroom had a claw foot tub and I shared it with the “servants quarters” apartment. The doorway to the front was closed up and my bedroom had the door to the side of the front porch. Loved living there!

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