Summer 2015

Last summer TKE West was remodeled, but some rooms were left practically untouched.  Summer 2015 is all about renovating the TKE West Library. While the room has not had a book in it for years, it is a favorite spot for quiet studying that holds awards, trophies, and composites.  The Library was last remodeled in 1969 and is badly in need of modernization. The goal is to make the room both a showcase and a more functional place to hold meetings and study.  From a design perspective we are going to try to match the look of our Victorian staircase. …We also painted TKE East and built another deck overlooking the volleyball court. #toomanydeckstocount

First the room is emptied of furniture, trophies, composites and even drapes.

Library is Eptied

The old vinyl faux wood paneling is removed.  Some champagne stains were still visible.

Old Wood Paneling Removed

The ceiling is being framed.  Last summer HVAC was installed to provide heat and air conditioning, but the boxes hung down from the ceiling.  The framing will create a flush ceiling on either side of the room.

Ceiling Framing

Looking south you can see that the room has pretty much been gutted.  The ceiling framing is coming together.  The middle of the room is soffited.

Gutted Looking South

Looking north only the brick veneer of the fireplace where Ronald Reagan and Barr Barr stood is left in place.

Gutted Looking North

The southern windows that looked out into the “cheesegrater” covered in ivy are being closed up.  New stained glass windows will run along the west side of the room.

Southern Windows Enclosed

The old aluminum western windows are also closed.  You can see in the upper right hand corner of the western wall a frame for one of the new windows.

Western Windows Enclosed

Even the flooring has to go.  The floor will be leveled for a new sub-floor and new flooring.

Flooring Removed

A new sub-floor is installed.


The library was a notoriously dark room with only upward shining fluorescent lights from the soffits. To improve the lighting, 16 new recessed light fixtures are installed in the main room and 9 are installed in what will soon be North and South trophy cases. There will also be three chandeliers located above study tables.


The interior side of the big sliding pocket door is revealed. Check out that great Victorian green paint. It will need to be repaired and restored.


Badly needed insulation fills the walls and protective plywood is installed.  Drywall will then go on top of the plywood creating a very sturdy wall almost impervious to holes. Remember this is a fraternity house.  Everything is built for “maximum usage”.

Insulation and Plywood

The drywall is almost finished.  Getting ready for the paint, flooring, finishes and furniture.

Drywall is Almost Done

The library has been painted and the chandeliers are installed.  The deep rich brown color represents all the areas of the room that will eventually be installed with hard wood paneling to match the staircase.  Tom Rule is working hard on the floor plugs.

Lighting is Installed

Another shot of the room looking southward.  The large trophy case at this end of the room will have sliding glass doors.

Room Looks Great Painted

The new flooring is installed and the room now looks so much bigger than before.

New Flooring and Tables

Study tables and chairs in front of new trophy cases.  Composites start to fill the walls.  The new library is really beginning to take shape.

Trophy Cases Installed TKE USC

The White Oak pocket door has been repaired and refinished.  All the hardware was replaced including tracks and rollers and for the first time in about 30 years the door slides easily back and forth.

Refinished Pocket Door in Library

A bronze Ronald Reagan plaque is ready to be installed in front of the fire place.  It will mark fhe exact location Frater Reagan stood in the Beta-Sigma TKE House on July 1, 1965.  The plaque is life size enabling members and guests to actually stand in his footprints.

Ronald Reagan Plaque TKE USC Library

The stained glass window designs have been finalized and will be installed soon. From left to right: the shield of the University of Southern California, the T with three candles, the K with illuminated heart, the E with bible, and the shield of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity.

TKE USC Library Stained Glass

The stained glass windows have been installed.  The USC Shield is on the Southwest wall.

USC Shield Stained Glass Window in Library

The TKE Shield is installed on the Northwest wall.

TKE Crest Stained Glass Window in Library

And the T, the K, and the E are installed in the center of the Western wall.  They all go up on Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 just in time for rush.

TKE Stained Glass Windows in Library

TKE East gets a much needed  paint job.

TKE East Painted

A redwood deck is built on top of the storage containers on the northwest corner of the property.  It’s a favorite volleyball hangout.

TKE USC Volleyball Deck