House Restoration

The Mission and Goal

The Historic Kappa House Restoration Foundation is a tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) organization established for the purpose of restoring, preserving and maintaining the Historic Kappa House at 1708 “S” Street, NW Washington, DC.  In collaboration with the Washington (DC) Alumni Chapter, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., the foundation seeks to promote the appreciation of the historical significance of the property, its’ unique architecture and the special role of the Fraternity in the social development of the community.

The Fundraising Campaign goal of $1.5 million has been established in order to undertake necessary preservation renovations to restore this prized national treasure to its’ past grandeur.  All members of Kappa Alpha Psi are invited to join and participate in this important undertaking.  The Foundation is also seeking tax-deductible financial support from the community, businesses, corporations, foundations and individuals.

The Background

This four story Georgian style row mansion, designed by famed architect Leon E. Dessez, FAIA, 1858 – 1918, was completed in 1908 as a private residence. Dessez also served as principal architect of the Admiral’s Residence at One Observatory Circle (known today as the official residence of the Vice President of the United States), and the historic Miner Teacher’s College Building in Northwest Washington, DC. Following a brief period in which the building was used as a dance studio, the property was purchased by the Chapter in 1949.  As the only edifice dedicated to Kappa in the nation’s capital, it was acquired at a time when African Americans in Washington had very few places to go for any type of social activities. In 1985, the property was placed in the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior as a contributing resource within the DuPont Circle Historical District. This designation recognizes the historical significance of the property, its classic architecture, events and programs associated with it and the accomplishments of the chapter members who have contributed to the rich history and culture of the Washington DC community and the Nation.

The chapter’s fascinating history contains the names of individuals who impacted politics, the struggle for equality, as well as in the fields of education, medicine and the arts. Their enlightened contributions not only provide inspiration for today, but serve as a bridge from the past to the future. The Historic Kappa House was a place where lectures, seminars, exhibits and other educational programs were held in order to enhance, inform and empower the community. In addition, it served as a venue for glamorous weddings, parties and receptions.

The Vision

Inspired by those who left this legacy, the Foundation, in partnership with the chapter, has agreed to restore, preserve and maintain the property for generations to come.  The property will operate for public use reaffirming:

  • The spirit and direction charted by the Chapter;
  • The underpinnings of the Fraternity as a cornerstone of African American history and cultrue;
  • The property’s significance to the communtiy and Nation in preserving the past as a living part of the present;
  • The preservation of the property’s irreplaceable heritage; and
  • The vital legacy of architectural, cultural, educational and inspriational benefits or future generations.

Restoration of the Historic Kappa House will provide for its’ continued use as an important community resource and site for activities such as the national program of Guide Right which encourages mentoring and the development of leadership skills with particiapting youth; the Kappa Scholarship Endowmnet Program which provides college scholarships to talented and needy students; Social Action Programs which frame and develop creative solutions to social problems facing the community in such areas as health awareness, food donation programs for the poor, clothing and toy drives for needy children; and the Distinguuished Lecture and Discussion Series on topical, social and community issues.

Executive Committee

Board of Directors

Rawle Andrews, Esq., Otis Brooks, Jr., Michael R. Butler, Robert Cooper, Esq., Gayatachew R. Dorsainville, Michael K. Fauntroy, PhD., Kenneth Goodson, Dr. Robert Greenfield, Thomas E. Henderson, Alexander W. Jones, George C. Lacy, Esq., Anthony Lee, Christopher Lemmie, Philip Millet, Maurice Sawyer, Barrington D. Scott, I, George Taylor, James Sherard, George “Ty” Simpson, Manard Smith, Tim Strickland and Leon Williams

Advisors

  • Carl E. Anderson Ed.D
  • Harry G. Robinson III, FAIA

Historic Kappa House Restoration Foundation (HKHRF)
P.O. Box 55274
Washington, DC  20040

Email: HHRF@aol.com