Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Welcome Center (At the Fasano House)

When I first visited Alfred as one of my prospective schools, i though how nice the welcome center was. The big yellow house with the brown molding and the grey roof, it had a big orange sign in front stating that it was the "Alfred University Welcome Center". I found out shortly after that though however, that wasn't the welcome center and for the past two years i have wondered what purpose it even serves other than to look appealing to visitors.

The house on 71 North Main Street was originally built as a private home for the Burdick family. William C. Burdick who was born in Alfred himself was well known for being the successful owner to the Allegany Cheese Company. Burdick and his second wife Amanda Crandall Prescott were both former students of Alfred Academy and both spent time on the Alfred University board of trustee's. After they had passed away, their daughter, Susan M. Burdick sold the house to the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity in 1922.

During World War II, the University and the Fraternity made arrangements to use the house as a women's hall, where nurses corps could be established. After that the fraternity continued to reside their. Two fires, one in 1936 and one in 1981 caused extensive damage to the house, but repairs were worthy considering the houses history.

When Alfred University stopped recognizing Greek life in 2002, Delta Sigma Phi turned the house over to the University in order to preserve it as a historical landmark in Alfred. It served 80 years as a frat house and a home to many alumni and members of the board of trustee's.

Alumni of the fraternity contributed more than half of the total needed to renovate the house. It was dedicated to members Joseph, Ann and their late son Patrick Fasano. Nationally recognized architect Elizabeth Corbin Murphy worked with interior designed Vivian Hyde to reassemble intricate woodwork, stained glass and wall ornamentation that had been there before the fires.

The house has been restored to its original Victorian masterpiece as accurately as possible and is now the Alfred University Welcome center. Even if you have never been inside this building, looking at its architecture and intricate details can defiantly give you an idea of the pride Alfred has in its history. I think the money to restore this building was well spent, it contains a lot of history and culture and much can be learned from its design.

No comments:

Post a Comment