Walnut Park Historic District

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Walnut Park Historic District
Walnut Park, looking northwest toward Walnut Place
Walnut Park Historic District is located in New York
Walnut Park Historic District
Walnut Park Historic District is located in the US
Walnut Park Historic District
Location Walnut Pl. and Walnut Ave., Syracuse, New York
Coordinates 43°2′32″N 76°7′57″W / 43.04222°N 76.13250°W / 43.04222; -76.13250Coordinates: 43°2′32″N 76°7′57″W / 43.04222°N 76.13250°W / 43.04222; -76.13250
Architect Multiple
Architectural style Colonial Revival, Late 19th And 20th Century Revivals, Georgian Revival
NRHP Reference # 83001755[1]
Added to NRHP September 15, 1983

The Walnut Park Historic District is located in the University Hill neighborhood of Syracuse, New York, adjacent to the Syracuse University campus.[2] The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.[1]

Walnut Park[edit]

The park was deeded to the city in 1870 by prominent citizen George F. Comstock. Walnut Park is itself a three-block long park. The long sides of the park are bordered on the west by Walnut Place, on the east by Walnut Avenue. Cross streets are Harrison Street, Adams Street, Marshall Street, and Waverly Avenue from north to south. The park was originally landscaped with shade trees, but the Dutch Elm disease wiped out that overall effect in the 1950s. In 1972, new trees were planted. These trees have reached maturity and restored some of the original atmosphere to the park.[2]

Establishment of the neighborhood[edit]

The neighborhood surrounding Walnut Park was originally established by some of the social elite of Syracuse. Community leader and banker George Comstock, after donating the property for the park, chose carefully the people to whom he sold building lots.

George H. Bond had the house at 304 Walnut Place built in 1899. He was Onondaga County District Attorney, and founder of the still existent law firm of Bond, Schoeneck and King. The house reflects elements of both the Queen Anne style popular up to that time and the Georgian Revival style becoming popular. The house was later owned by Syracuse University and known as "Blackwell Cottage". It is now the home of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.

The house at 701 Walnut Place is now owned by Syracuse University and utilized as the Chancellor's residence. It was built for attorney William Nottingham in 1901. The house was designed in the Jacobethan Revival style by architects Brockway and Benson of New York City. Leather lines the library walls. The living room ceiling is decorated with Gothic tracery. The central staircase is carved. A ballroom graces the third floor.

The chateauesque house next door at 703 Walnut Avenue was built for Crucible Steel owner and president Horace Wilkinson in 1905. Gaggin and Gaggin architects of Syracuse designed it. The interior woodworking is various and impressive. Theodore Roosevelt, while engaged in the Barnes-Roosevelt libel case, stayed there as a guest of the family for a month. The house belonged to Phi Delta Theta Fraternity for many years and now belongs to Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, of which American radio and television personality Dick Clark was a member.

Other notable Syracusans who built their homes in the neighborhood included clergyman and archbishop the Reverend Huntington, A. E. Nettleton, of the Nettleton Shoe Company and Paragon Plaster, and the Denison family.[2]

Fraternity-sorority row[edit]

In 1915 the Alpha Phi sorority bought the house at 308 Walnut Place. Around 1921 the houses at 208 and 210 Walnut Place and the one at 901 Walnut Avenue all became sorority or fraternity houses. In 1923 house at 300 Walnut Place was sold to the Delta Delta Delta sorority. The house at 310 Walnut Place was built around 1925 for the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and the house at 803 Walnut Avenue was built for Gamma Phi Beta sorority. In 1928, Kappa Alpha Theta sorority had local architect Marjorie Wright design their Tudor style house at 306 Walnut Place. In 1937 the house at 907 Walnut Avenue also became a "Greek" house. Over the following decades, more fraternities and sororities moved in, making the area the Fraternity/Sorority Row of Syracuse University.[2]

Block party[edit]

Walnut Park was the traditional home of Syracuse University's "block party", an event celebrating the coming of spring with live entertainment in an outdoor setting. In 1993, amid concerns of over-crowding and excessive drinking, the University moved the event to a more readily controllable indoor venue.[3]

Walnut Park Historic District contributing properties[edit]

Landmark name Image Date Built Style Location Description
1 Syracuse University; "Cultural Center" 104WalnutPlace.jpg c. 1900 Georgian Revival 104 Walnut Place 2.5 stories; tan brick; shingled dormer; hip roof; interior lion's head molding; oak woodwork; now a vacant lot
2 Syracuse University; "Counseling Center" 200WalnutPlace.jpg c. 1900 Georgian Revival 200 Walnut Place 2.5 stories; clapboard siding; three dormers; steep hip roof; interior oak woodwork; fraternity since 1970; at time of listing known as Kappa Phi Delta fraternity
3 Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity 206WalnutPlaceSyr.jpg c. 1900 Georgian Revival 206 Walnut Place 2.5 stories; brick; open porch; Doric columns; dormer; hip roof; at listing known as Syracuse University: "Erie Cottage"
4 Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity 208WalnutPlace.jpg c. 1900 Colonial Revival 208 Walnut Place 2.5 stories; steep hip roof; Keck stained glass; renovated c. 1930; at listing known as Beta Theta Pi fraternity
5 Phi Delta Theta fraternity 210WalnutPlace.jpg c. 1897 Georgian Revival 210 Walnut Place 2.5 stories; brick; hip roof; renovated c. 1920; originally residence of Bishop Huntington
6 Delta Delta Delta sorority 300WalnutPlace.jpg 1903 300 Walnut Place 3 stories; tan brick; low hip roof; originally Denison family house
7 Alpha Tau Omega fraternity 304WalnutPlace.jpg 1899 Queen Anne/Georgian Revival 304 Walnut Place 2.5 stories; clapboard and shingle; gable roof; originally George Bond residence; at listing known as Syracuse University: "Blackwell Cottage"
8 Kappa Alpha Theta sorority 306WalnutPlace.jpg 1928 Tudor Revival 306 Walnut Place 2.5 stories; brick and stucco; gable roof; designed by Marjorie Wright
9 Alpha Phi sorority 308WalnutPlace.jpg 1898 Colonial Revival 308 Walnut Place 3 stories; brick and shingle; Flemish gable roof; stained glass windows; designed by J&R Lamb
10 Syracuse University: "Slutzker Center for International Services" 310WalnutPlace.jpg c. 1925 Georgian Revival 310 Walnut Place 2.5 stories; Flemish bond brick; originally Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity house; at listing known as "Student Government Building"
11 Syracuse University: "Chancellor's Residence" 701WalnutAve.jpg 1901 Jacobethan Revival 701 Walnut Avenue 2.5 stories; brick and stone; interior Gothic tracery ceiling and leather lined library walls
12 Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity 703WalnutAve.jpg 1903 Chateauesque 703 Walnut Avenue 3 stories; stone; steep gable roof; parapet; battlements; turret; porte-cochere; originally belonged to Horace Wilkinson; residence of Phi Delta Theta fratenrity until early 1992; at listing known as Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity
13 Delta Phi Epsilon sorority 705WalnutAve.jpg 1905 705 Walnut Avenue 2 stories; tan brick; red hip roof; stained glass windows; porte-cochere; originally owned by A.E. Nettleton
14 Delta Tau Delta fraternity 801WalnutAve.jpg c. 1915 Second Empire 801 Walnut Avenue 2 stories; tan brick
15 Gamma Phi Beta sorority 803WalnutAve.jpg c. 1930 Colonial Revival 803 Walnut Avenue 2.5 stories; Flemish bond brick
16 Delta Gamma sorority 901WalnutAve.jpg 1907 Tudor Revival 901 Walnut Avenue 2.5 stories; gable roof
17 Tau Epsilon Phi fraternity 1900 Tudor Revival Walnut Avenue 2.5 stories; shingled siding; turret; gable roof

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c d Harwood, John F. (August 13, 1984). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Walnut Park Historic District". Retrieved 2009-02-14.  and Accompanying 13 photos from 1983
  3. ^ "Chancellor Q&A:Livingstock". Syracuse University News. Syracuse University. 2001-04-28.