The Deke House

The Lodge at 13 South Avenue

The “Grey Stone Castle” at 13 South Avenue sits just below the Cornell Law School near the College Avenue entrance to Collegetown and the Cascadilla Gorge. It is located near the Cornell Engineering School, the West Campus Dormitories, Willard Straight Hall, and a number of other Greek houses. Designed by William Henry Miller, Cornell’s first architecture graduate, the Lodge has housed Deke brothers since its completion in 1893. In the last two decades, the Deke House has been added to the New York State and National Registers of historic structures, as well as named an historic landmark by the city of Ithaca.

Life at the DKE House

The Deke House was built in 1893 and has received a historic designation by New York State. It is distinguished by its distinctive tower, rounded arches, and projecting porches. The exterior walls are marble supplied by the St Lawrence Marble Co. The internal courtyard also features a built-in grill and outdoor volleyball court.

The house has 29 residential rooms on the second and third floors and twelve parking spaces. The first floor has large common spaces including a living room where the brothers gather and play video games, ping pong, and foosball. The library features many years of Cornell and Deke historic books and a working fireplace noted for a bronze plaque for a distinguished hero and the Deke crest.

The first floor also includes a dining room with rich woodwork.  The mealplan includes lunch (Monday through Friday) and dinner (Sunday through Thursday) prepared by our professional chef Rick.

The basement features our pool table and open social space that has had multiple uses over the years.

Our open main staircase features three stained glass windows including two from the studio of Frederick Stymetz Lamb.

Lodge Financing and Upkeep

Originally built with private money in 1893, Cornell University obtained ownership of the DKE House in 1961 and is responsible for the upkeep of the house and surrounding property to this day.  Funds to improve and maintain the house come from a number of sources including undergraduate lodging fees, annual endowment contributions from Brothers Jordan Lamb (year?) and Eugene Patterson ’39, as well as contributions from engaged alumni through Cornell’s DKE Group Housing Fund or the Delta Chi Association.

Generous financial contributions over the past few years enabled the Delta Chi Association and Cornell University to make substantive improvements to the house, including a restoration of the front porch and staircase leading to West Avenue.  This project also included the replacing of gutters, downspouts, landscaping, and exterior lights on the western face of the house.

At over 125 years of age, the Lodge at 13 South Avenue is constantly in need of additional repairs and upkeep.  The Delta Chi Association, Undergraduate Chapter, and Cornell University are in the process of updating and prioritizing a ten-year plan for additional maintenance projects.  We will share the findings of that plan in the coming months.