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425 E. Kirkwood Avenue

From Bloomingpedia
Panda Express

425 E. Kirkwood Avenue is currently the address of a three-story residential and commercial brick and metal building. The first floor is occupied by the Panda Express restaurant, with two- and two three-bedroom apartments on the second and third floors.

In the early 1900's, the address was the location of a rooming house. The rooming house became famous for being the birthplace of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity on Jan. 5, 1911, when 10 men gathered at the location to form the fraternity. There are now 400 chapters worldwide.

Later, a commercial storefront was added, more or less on the front porch of the rooming house. In this state the building can be seen in Breaking Away, operating as a Baskin-Robbins franchise.

Afterwards, it became a Jiffy Treet. In August 1986, in conjunction with a national fraternity convention in Indianapolis, members of Kappa Alpha Psi visited the location and placed a memorial on the sidewalk in front of the Jiffy Treet to mark the historical significance of the site.

In 2006, the building was purchased and demolished by developers Tartan Realty Group of Chicago, the same firm that demolished and renovated the Von Lee. The Jiffy Treet reincarnated as Hartzell's Ice Cream on Dunn Street when the owner anticipated rent increases in the current building, which was erected the following year.

Jiffy Treet