If one takes a trip down Gilbert Road near South Campus, they will find 3 and 4 Gilbert Road: Two houses listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and two of nine houses that once made up faculty row.
Mike Enright, Deputy Spokesperson and Manager of Internal Communications at the University of Connecticut said the seven other houses were demolished to make way for a common area for South Campus.
“The university has been working to create park-like green space around the property, including grassy areas, plantings, trees, benches, and tables,” Enright said. “It’s intended to provide a beautiful outdoor spot for use by the campus community, particularly given its central location between the Student Recreation Center and the South Campus residence halls.”
According to UConn Today, restoring the houses would have cost the university about $9 million to renovate the houses, which is about $1 million per house.
Enright said three of the nine houses were being used for office space until earlier this year, but it did not include the two Gilbert road houses.
“These two former houses have been vacant for many years, but as part of the agreement with historic preservation officials announced in December 2016, UConn agreed to stabilize them and develop a plan for their reuse within the coming five years,” Enright said.
The plaques found on the house say the houses were built between 1912 and 1920.
Enright said the houses were once used as faculty housing, then many were later used as office space or fraternity and sorority housing. Some fraternities and sororities occupied these houses for over 60 years before being moved to Husky Village in 2003, according to the article.
The brown house last served as the home for Delta Zeta sorority, and the grey house last housed Counseling and Student Development Center.
Laura Cruickshank, master planner and chief architect at UConn said in a 2016 UConn Today article that just because the buildings are old, it does not make them historic.
“Many of the buildings in the central campus are historic and must be preserved,” Cruickshank said. “The abandoned Greek Row houses are more of an eyesore taking up valuable space. It would be extremely costly to renovate them and even if we did, they would serve no useful purpose.”
Olivia Hickey is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.