The wide entrance hall to the house is the nexus of the main floor. Upon entering the house, the Hollengreen Room lies to your right, on the west, and the Mitchell Room to your left, on the east, through which may be accessed all the other public spaces on the level. Directly ahead is the main stairwell, providing access to all four levels of the house.
Symbolism marks these passageways. To either side of the front door hang the memorials to fallen brothers of the First and Second World Wars. Every time a brother leaves the house for the wider world, he is reminded of those who made the supreme sacrifice to defend that wider world, and inspired to cherish and defend it all the more. And lining the stairwell are the chapter’s composite photographs. Whenever a brother heads up to his room or down to dinner, he is reminded of the generations of brothers who came before him, and that he must work to preserve it for future brothers to come.
The original 1896 house featured a deep foyer and a grand wooden staircase just behind it. On the big formal weekends, this was the usual spot for photos to be taken, and windows behind the stairs admitted light to the interior of the house. Less nostalgic alumni recount how creaky the steps were, and how noisy the open stairwell made the upstairs. But there is scarcely to be found any who prefer the utilitarian steel-and-concrete structure that replaced it in the 1956 renovation, necessitated by changes in fire codes. It is the ardent hope of the fraternity to one day restore the grand stair, which is possible thanks to modern materials and the 2010 installation of fire sprinklers around the house.