Built about 1918, this Neoclassical-style structure houses Gamma Lambda Chapter, third graduate chapter of the first black national Greek letter fraternity in the United States: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated. Founded in 1906 at Cornell University, the fraternity’s aims are manly deeds, scholarship, and love for all mankind. This local chapter, established in 1919, served as a focal point for black social, cultural, educational, and community service activities in an era when there were few other outlets. The chapter continues civic and cultural work and involvement in nonprofit business enterprises that benefit the metropolitan Detroit community. Martin Luther King Jr., W. E. B. Du Bois, and Edward “Duke” Ellington, among others, are national members who have achieved prominence.
Plaque via Michigan History Center