Mu Lambda Community House

alphahouse.jpg

2405 First St NW, Washington DC, 20001

Near Howard University

After the end of World War I, many brothers who had graduated from Howard University felt very strongly that the way to demonstrate their fraternity loyalty was to organize a graduate chapter. Further, a chapter home would be a fitting and effective means of giving all members a concrete sense of loyalty. In 1919, the brothers floated a bond issue in order to purchase a lot on Georgia Avenue. Then, in 1923, Mu Lambda chapter was founded, with 24 members, and brothers brought bricks as a means of fund raising to buy or build a new house. In 1925, the Beta Mu Lambda Corporation was chartered with the express purpose of acquisition, holding and maintaining real estate on behalf of Mu Lambda Chapter. The Georgia Avenue lot was never to be built on and in 1928 was sold in order to purchase a lot and house at 1917 Third Street, NW. This Historical event launched a new phase in the Washington Alpha story.

The new, large, well-furnished house became a meeting place and forum for alumni and college brothers. It was renovated by fine architects, Brothers Cassel and Gardiner, and was show place of community interests and activities. It was the concert hall for a beautiful grand piano awarded to the chapter by Brother Paul Robeson. War clouds loomed across the land during this period and in 1941 the federal government promptly requested and later bought the Alpha house. It was torn down and Slowe Hall [a government-sponsored house for women war workers] was built on the spot. The financial gains realized from the sale was deposited in several bank accounts and a trustee panel of three brothers (one college and two graduate brothers) was appointed to manage the investments.

Nine years later [1950], and with a renewed sense of togetherness, the brotherhood purchased another chapter house. It was an imposing three story Georgian structure and located at 1800 New Hampshire Avenue, NW. Chapter members gave generously of their time and resources to make this newly decorated house a profitable and enjoyable venture. There was a gala opening which attracted over one thousand brothers and friends and was underscored with the newspaper headline, "Luxurious Mansion Opened for Inspection." This $50,000 endeavor was the largest and most attractive fraternity house ever owned by Blacks in the United States. The house served as the center for many social, cultural, and educational programs for Washingtonians. The Alpha Wives were very much a part of the acquisition process, and indeed contributed to the elegant furnishings in many of the rooms. Following a time of national turmoil in the middle sixties, interest in the house waned and it was sold in 1965.

Under new and aggressive leadership, the Beta Mu Lambda Corporation Board of Directors, with full support of the membership, has embarked upon yet another acquisition. The center stairwell Neo-Gothic Colonial will serve as the new focal point for Alpha. This beautiful structure, with its own illustrious history, is located in the historic LeDroit Park Community. The architectural firm of Brother Isham Baker [Baker Cooper Associates] is working with the Board of Directors to rehabilitate, restore, enhance, and develop this new House of Alpha into a beacon Alphadom and treasure well worth preserving

At the beginning of the new fraternal year, Mu Lambda held it's first meeting at the Mu Lambda Community House on September 2, 2010