Alpha Sigma-University of California-Berkeley

Pi Kappa Alpha was founded on March 1, 1868 at the University of Virginia.

The CalMedico Club, a fraternal organization of medical students at the University of California (Berkeley was then the only campus) was formed in the late 1880’s.

The housing corporation was established in 1900 as the (unincorporated) CalMedico Building Association to raise the money necessary to acquire a house.

The CalMedico Club was chartered as Alpha Sigma chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha on April 15, 1912, and the founding officers and members were installed the next day. The Alpha Sigma chapter has never closed its doors.

At some point after installation the housing association changed its name to the Alpha Sigma Building Association, and was incorporated without name change on Sept 14, 1920.

The Alpha Sigma Building Association purchased the house at 2324 Piedmont Way in 1920 from the doctor who had built the building as his family’s home years before.

Around 1937 the fundraising effort to buy a second property for expansion was begun, formalizing with stock issued in 1939. Enough money was accumulated by the end of the ’40s and the adjoining house on Durant Ave was purchased about 1954.

In 1964/5 the Durant house, having been condemned, was demolished to make way for an expansion of the main house. The lot was leveled and covered in asphalt in order to provide temporary parking until building permits were obtained to begin construction. The city denied these permits, as it did several times over the next few years (parking was deemed more necessary than housing at that time), and again from 1984-88 when a second major attempt was made to build the expansion (city regulations and additional variances being the trouble this time).

In 2006 plans were begun to build a second house where the original Durant Avenue house had stood (rather than expand as a single building). This seems to meet city objectives but funds do not yet exist to go forward with this effort.