Hillside House (1958)

Since the fall of 2016, Hillside House has been an academic space that houses activities for Dance, Art, and the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program. Prior to that, it was the chapter house of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity.

Phi Kappa Tau had had a presence at Muhlenberg since 1918, when it became the first fraternity since Alpha Tau Omega in 1881 to be granted a national charter. Muhlenberg’s Eta Chapter was the seventh oldest PTK chapter in the nation.

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.

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.