460 Lowes St.
Chilly house stoked warm friendships.
In January 1978, a historic blizzard swept through Dayton. Classes were canceled. What does a group of six best friends do? Naturally, they build a snowman.
Jim O’Brien ’78, Mike Moriarty ’78, Paul Zavarella ’78, Phil Ignelzi ’78, Ed Gabriel ’78 and Doug Leonard ’79 — residents of 460 Lowes St. — constructed a massive 8-foot snowman with their neighbors in between the two houses.
While the outdoors were frigid, the inside of 460 Lowes was just as cold.
“We would leave a glass of water on the dining table, and it would be frozen solid,” Moriarty said. “But, it didn’t deter us. We still showered in the basement every day.”
It’s hard to imagine that their basement shower was much warmer than the upstairs. According to the housemates, that particular shower was essentially a broom closet.
Regardless of the temporarily uncomfortable living conditions, 460 Lowes could not have been a more lively, inviting home for the friends and those they welcomed in.
“We had a paper boy … he was like the unofficial member of the house,” Leonard said.
The men enjoyed hosting get-togethers like any group of housemates would, but they also prided themselves on their cooperation to make the house truly feel like home.
“We were more of a team where we broke out duties,” Moriarty said. “Each week, we’d take turns: two would shop, two would do the dishes and clean up, and two would clean the house.”
Once a week, the friends looked forward to a day off from cooking.
“Every Friday, because we were coming back from Kramer’s, we’d eat fish sticks that we’d just throw into the oven and eat,” Moriarty said.
It is clear that living at 460 Lowes — most of them for both junior and senior years — was a starting point for lifelong friendships. Almost 50 years later, the men continue to travel the world, take joint family vacations and visit their old UD home more times than they can count.
“It’s important to note that the house was one of the important factors that formed the foundation for very close friendships that have lasted 46 years,” said Zavarella. “I would like to think that we’d still have those types of strong friendships, but I think that house and that off-campus living added to the friendship.”
Year built: 1910
Total square feet: 1,360
Bathrooms (today): 1