Hillside House - Phi Kappa Tau (1958)
Phi Kappa Tau (PKT): 1958 - 1993, 1999 - 2013
In the fall of 1958, PKT brothers moved into their new chapter house on the south of campus. The present-day Hillside House was designed by Allentown architect Robert Frey ‘45, who had been an Eta Chapter member while a student at Muhlenberg. It was the first fraternity house to be built at Muhlenberg in over 30 years, and the first to be built on the campus proper. The house was dedicated on March 14, 1959.
In the fall of 1954, Phi Kappa Tau’s plans for this new $100,000 residence, which could house double the number of brothers as their Liberty Street residence, was approved by the Board of Trustees. Designed by architects Wolf and Hahn, the plan is quite a departure from the resulting Hillside House we know today (see the original design here).
On April 28, 1993, a hazing incident observed by Campus Safety led to the national organization suspending Phi Kappa Tau for three years. The suspension was the culmination of troubling incidents which had seen the national organization brought to campus numerous times in recent years to deal with its chapter.
Leased from Phi Tau Alumni Association in the fall of 1994, “Hillside” House was converted to house 18 male and female students in single rooms.
PTK returned to campus in the fall of 1999 as a substance-free house. In 2007, the fraternity was put on probation following an incident involving drugs. Nevertheless, it remained on campus until the spring of 2013, at which time the College withdrew its recognition of the chapter as a result of its hazing practices. The house remained empty until the summer of 2016, when it was renovated and repurposed as an academic space that houses activities for Dance, Art, and the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program.