My Old House: 1316 Brown St.
When Peggy Fahey Cawley’s number came up short in the apartment lottery her sophomore year, she became the unintended resident of 1316 Brown St. But, she says the misfortune led to some of her best UD years.
The six bedroom, two bathroom home had a sprawling wraparound porch that led to a large living room with stairs on either side leading to the bedrooms.
Cawley ’85 was one of 12 women living in the home between 1983 and 1985 and recalled it being full of chatter and camaraderie.
“It was fun living with 11 other women,” Cawley said. “There was always someone to talk to downstairs in the shared living area.”
But with 12 women, issues were bound to arise.
“In the era before cell phones and email, the shared telephone was a challenge,” Cawley admitted.
Another challenge was navigating the tiny kitchen space, keeping the house clean, and finding ways to cram food into two small refrigerators. The ladies tackled the household chores with teams of roommates put in charge of various tasks each week.
The system worked out well, as housemate Lorri Black Stewart ’86 recalled: “Each team only had to clean the house once every six weeks.”
As for the refrigerator situation, there were times when items were “borrowed” or (un)intentionally used.
“I remember one time that caused an issue, when someone ate a whole batch of raw cookie dough and wouldn’t admit to it,” Stewart said. “We got over it.”
Issues were easily forgotten because there was dancing to Prince records, Secret Santas, holiday meals and big get- togethers.
“Just say ‘party at 1316’ and everyone knew,” Cawley said.
For resident Lee Kelly ’85, graduation was most memorable because the housemates all put 1316 on top of their graduation caps so their families could spot them.
Cawley, Stewart and Kelly all agreed that living with so many roommates taught them tolerance, responsibility and how to work with different personalities — a trying task, at times.
Still, Cawley said she hopes the current residents of the home “find a special bond to its walls” just as they all did more than 30 years ago.