- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 10, 2017

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) - After calling the house home for more than 100 years, members of PhiGamma Delta fraternity’s Zeta Chapter at Indiana University now will reside in the 52,000-square-foot limestone building at Eighth Street and Woodlawn Avenue.

The move is the result of a land-swap deal to meet the recommendations of IU’s 2009 master plan, which called for returning the buildings in the university’s Old Crescent neighborhood, where the old fraternity house was located, back to academic use. There are no specific plans for the East Third Street property, but the deal will free up space between the law school building and Swain Hall.

IU allowed the fraternity, commonly referred to as Fiji, to build a new house in the heart of campus in exchange for the Third Street property. But homes in the historic University Courts neighborhood already were standing in the spot where the new Fiji house was going to be built.

That ruffled the feathers of the Bloomington City Council, which approved designating the neighborhood a historic district in 2014. Many of the houses in the neighborhood were built between 1906 and 1934.

The city council’s resolution couldn’t stop the deal, though, because as a state institution, IU is not required to obtain a certificate of appropriateness from the city before demolishing property it owns in the district. As a compromise, the university decided to preserve as many houses as possible by moving them to empty lots in the neighborhood.

In January 2015, Wolfe House & Building Movers began using radio-controlled power dollies to move the structures down the neighborhood’s brick streets.

Construction of the new Fiji house began the following spring. It was designed to fit in with the surrounding buildings. Limestone from local quarries was used in construction, according to design plans presented at a Bloomington Historic Preservation Commission meeting. It has a faux slate roof, double-hung metal windows and stucco finishing on some of the walls.

Reached by phone Friday, Phi Gamma Delta’s Zeta Chapter House Corp. President Peter King confirmed construction was completed and that members would be moving in, but he was not willing to answer other questions about the project.

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Source: The (Bloomington) Herald-Times, https://bit.ly/2ic7obS

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Information from: The Herald Times, https://www.heraldtimesonline.com

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