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My Old House: 1316 Brown St.

9:30 AM  Mar 23rd, 2017
by Gita Balakrishnan

When Peggy Fahey Cawley’s number came up short in the apartment lottery her sophomore year, she became the unintended resident of 1316 Brown St. But, she says the misfortune led to some of her best UD years.

The six bedroom, two bathroom home had a sprawling wraparound porch that led to a large living room with stairs on either side leading to the bedrooms.

Cawley ’85 was one of 12 women living in the home between 1983 and 1985 and recalled it being full of chatter and camaraderie.

“It was fun living with 11 other women,” Cawley said. “There was always someone to talk to downstairs in the shared living area.” 

But with 12 women, issues were bound to arise.

“In the era before cell phones and email, the shared telephone was a challenge,” Cawley admitted.

Another challenge was navigating the tiny kitchen space, keeping the house clean, and finding ways to cram food into two small refrigerators. The ladies tackled the household chores with teams of roommates put in charge of various tasks each week.

The system worked out well, as housemate Lorri Black Stewart ’86 recalled: “Each team only had to clean the house once every six weeks.”

As for the refrigerator situation, there were times when items were “borrowed” or (un)intentionally used.

“I remember one time that caused an issue, when someone ate a whole batch of raw cookie dough and wouldn’t admit to it,” Stewart said. “We got over it.”

Issues were easily forgotten because there was dancing to Prince records, Secret Santas, holiday meals and big get-

“Just say ‘party at 1316’ and everyone knew,” Cawley said.

For resident Lee Kelly ’85, graduation was most memorable because the housemates all put 1316 on top of their graduation caps so their families could spot them.

Cawley, Stewart and Kelly all agreed that living with so many roommates taught them tolerance, responsibility and how to work with different personalities — a trying task, at times.

Still, Cawley said she hopes the current residents of the home “find a special bond to its walls” just as they all did more than 30 years ago.


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My Old House: 411 Lowes St.

11:35 AM  Jan 5th, 2017
by Danielle Damon ’18

A pale yellow house stands at the end of the 400 block of Lowes. Inside, lives two sets of sorority bigs and littles, and one honorary Theta Phi Alpha. The five senior residents are living together for the second year in a row, but this time, they each have their own room, and there are three bathrooms split among the group. The house is handicap accessible, but for now, it is used as a “student engagement” theme house that the housemates gained through the Special Interest Housing process.

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My Old House: 411 Lowes St.

2:11 PM  Dec 1st, 2016
by Michelle Tedford ’94

It had them at “new.”

“We knew it was new, so we put it down,” said Haleigh Lamb ’15 of the five housemates’ preference to live at 411 Lowes St. starting in August 2013.

The yellow two-story had been built in 2012 to replace the 12-foot-wide, two-bedroom blue frame house with the same address built in 1905. The housemates were only the second occupants of the yellow house, built as one of four new green-certified homes on Lowes that year. 

“New” meant a dishwasher, washer, dryer, three bathrooms, five bedrooms and a closet the size of a bedroom that a friend asked to move into.

Visitors entered at the living room with its tile floor and flowed into the kitchen, spacious and handicap accessible. It was the entertainment floor — complete with karaoke machine and comfy chair donated by friend Jeff Messing ’15.

“People called our house ‘Grand Central Station,’” said Lamb, now a sixth-grade science teacher.

Ashley Zawistowski ’15  and Lamb reunited on the porch last summer to talk about the home they shared their junior and senior years.

Said Zawistowski, “When I first walked in, I said, ‘This is the nicest place I’m ever going to live.’” Lamb agreed: “I live in 750 square feet in Nashville.”

The women made 411 Lowes a special interest house focusing on faith, justice and the community. They hosted dinners, including a barbeque that brought the entire street together. For a service project, they had to move to a larger venue — RecPlex; the women organized volunteers who measured and packaged beans, rice and other foods for 20,000 children in Haiti.

But even a new home isn’t without its quirks. The electricity would often cut out — a dark shower one day, a whole-house outage the next. Such adversity can bring friends together, they said — and help make new ones. Said Zawistowski, an eighth-grade science teacher in Greenville, South Carolina, “We got to know Gary the electrician very well.”

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My Old House: 219 Kiefaber

2:07 PM  Sep 1st, 2016
by Bridget Lally ’17

In early August 2009, six women moved into the powder blue house at 219 Kiefaber St. The women said they enjoyed their early arrival with a quiet street to themselves, thanks to marching band camp.

The house is one of the few in the student neighborhood that has both a front and back porch. It has a great backyard, too, full of tall, luscious maple trees and plenty of space to relax, which Kiersten Noble Meister ’10 and Jen Blessing ’10 revisited during 2016.

219 Kiefaber St. — also home to Maryanne Dietrich Dorn ’11, Brooke Lovely ’11, Danielle Budde DiMatteo ’10 and Lauren Perl ’10 — served these musical, creative and hospitable ladies well. All six women were in the marching band and, if you stopped by, you could hear the sounds of either a trumpet, saxophone, flute, trombone, baritone or drums.

The house was a convenient location for them because it was close to the Music/Theatre Building, a longtime hub for performing arts students.

They may have logged countless hours playing John Philip Sousa together, but Meister said, laughing, “we definitely bonded over the Spice Girls — that was our favorite.”

“We practiced marching band music a lot together especially since we all had different parts,” said Meister. “We occasionally had to dance in marching band, and we practiced together. For our Halloween show that year, we practiced the Thriller dance. I think we have that on tape somewhere.”

The first floor of the house has two living rooms, where they hosted “marching band family” gatherings, such as the spaghetti dinner at the beginning of August 2009 or a girls’ night for the six housemates.

But the fun didn’t stop at graduation. In addition to the Reunion Weekend backyard merriment, the women try to see one another at least once a year. Living in Cincinnati, Columbus and Michigan, they usually achieve that goal.

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My Old House: 124 Evanston

2:00 PM  Jun 1st, 2016
by Ryan Wilker ’16

Although the residents of 124 Evanston might not have kept their house as clean as they should have, the mess didn’t stop them from becoming life-long friends, said Nick Hummel ’02.

Hummel lived at 124 Evanston with Tom Zientak, John Surso, Lou Cioffi, Aaron Sorrentino and Jay Harrison — all members of the Class of 2002.

“We thought the house was awesome, after having to live off-campus in Irving Commons for our junior year,” Hummel said.  “The house had three bedrooms, one bathroom, a kitchen, a dining room, a living room and, most importantly, a front porch. We were also able to use the basement when we were there and turned it into a VIP lounge with shag furniture and vinyl records on the wall.”

Hummel explained that one night, while he and Zientak were asleep, their roommates decided to cover the whole downstairs of the house — floor, furniture and walls — in tin foil.

“Being a house of six guys, it stayed like that for about a week before someone decided to clean it up,” Hummel said.

Another moment that Hummel and his roommates remember is being together in the house on Sept. 11, 2001.

“We can remember watching the news as things unfolded that morning and listening to the sonic booms of the jets being scrambled from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base,” Hummel said.

The residents have continued to stay in touch since their time at UD.

“We grew to be best friends, best men in each other’s weddings and godparents to children. UD was great, and we try to get back as often as possible,” Hummel said, adding that he recently attended a UD basketball game and visited with the current residents of 124 Evanston.

“Most of my best memories of UD involved the guys in that house,” Hummel said.

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My Old House: 124 Evanston

12:03 AM  Apr 29th, 2016
by Lexie Digby '15

The newly renovated exterior of the three-bedroom, one-bathroom house built in 1909 has a mystery tomato plant in the spacious backyard, small doors that turn moving into a game of Tetris, and is filled with six junior residents who say that although they spend a decent amount of time cooking, Jimmy John’s drivers are their most frequent visitors.

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My Old House: 228 College Park

9:52 AM  Apr 26th, 2016
by Courtney Mocklow '17

228 College Park, conveniently close to both campus and Brown Street, boasts a bright blue exterior and a well-kept front lawn.

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My Old House: 339 Stonemill

2:16 PM  Mar 10th, 2016
by Grace Poppe '16

The residents of 339 Stonemill Road met during their first year, from both the rowing club and their shared floor in Marycrest. They grew closer during their second year in Virgina W. Kettering Residence Hall and their third year in Gardens next to Campus South—where they enjoyed wizarding-themed games and honing their cooking skills. Their senior year, they joked that they “just kinda picked up” their last housemate, though they have known him well for two years. All of the roommates are in the engineering school and plan to graduate in May 2017.

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My Old House: 101 Woodland

11:21 AM  Mar 8th, 2016
by Sarah Spech '16 Photos by Kristin Davis '18

101 Woodland has 6 girls, 3 bedrooms, 2 refrigerators, and a whole lot of heart.

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My Old House: 101 Woodland

1:53 PM  Mar 1st, 2016
by Audrey Starr

In September 1973, six seniors — Danny “Do-It-All” Brabender, “Pistol” Pete Certo, Rick “Blue Eyes” Suminski, Tom “The General” Witkowski, Steve “Motts” Sarsfield and Phil “Opie” Opinante — became the first UD students to rent the home at 101 Woodland Ave. from a private owner.

Without losing a single second, as Opinante puts it, the original “Woodland Warriors” began many traditions at 101: Breakfast at Our House (best served at 3 a.m.), Viking nights, pajama parties, Chi Sigma Alpha gatherings, “after-hours” parties during homecoming and turnabout, UD Rugby Club lawn and garage parties — “just to cite a few regularly celebrated activities which are still fresh in the minds of so many alumni,” Opinante said.

Located next to Woodland Cemetery, the seniors often climbed its fence to take long runs through the cemetery’s hills and pathways, “regardless of weather conditions,” Opinante said. Following graduation in spring 1974, Opinante and Brabender remained on campus to complete their coursework at UD’s School of Law.

“For many years shortly thereafter, 101 became the home of Chi Sigma Alpha, a local fraternity,” Opinante said. “In fact, several of the nearby houses became occupied by various fraternities and sororities as the number of UD students increased in the area.”

The 1970s wouldn’t see the last of the Woodland Warriors, however. The crew reunited in 2014 during Reunion Weekend and paid a visit to 101.

“The house was empty for the summer, but the door was open, as it always was while we were students,” Opinante said, “so we took a stroll through the house. It was wonderful reminiscing about the great times we had there.” It was also wonderful to see, he said, that the home’s condition had improved since they’d last seen it, receiving a new kitchen and bathroom, new windows and siding, a renovated front porch and — most importantly — stronger water pressure.

“Back in the day, when someone flushed the toilet, the victims in the shower had to endure shampoo in their eyes for an extra four excruciating minutes since the water pressure was next to nothing,” Opinante recalled.

It’s a refreshed house that still holds lasting memories.

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