The loss of Identity
H.G Ahiengs initiated the first building permit for this home in 1903. However, it was not until June 10, 1905 that this home was finally built by an architect named Jacobi and a mason named R. Hoeppson. The cost to build the house was $3000.00, and it was meant to serve as a Plato cottage made of brick. The owner at the time, Juno Peterson, envisioned this home as a single-family residence. Generations of families have inhabited this space. The last family who lived in this building was evicted and all of their belonging were left behind.
Positioned on the northwestern end of Washington Park, this home occupies 4,800 square feet. The plan of the home is common among pre-WWII houses with low-hip roofs and interlinked living, dinning and kitchen areas in the ground level. The bedrooms and garage define the back end of the home and are located away from the public and formal front zones. In this home the bedrooms are located on the upper level.
A careful study of the current home indicated that the door at the head of the main staircase on the second floor had been replaced, at some point, with security latches. This suggested that the single-family home was changed into a duplex or two independently habitable units at some point in its history. In order to explore when such changes took place we studied the building permits taken in order to make interior changes in this home.
Although John Peterson owned this home from 1931-1942, work permits did not appear in the City’s microfiche database again until August 19th, 1947. The then owner, Sander Paterson requested Cream City Company to complete some remodeling tasks throughout the house. He wanted the contractor to apply inset brick to the exterior and erect the wood stairs from second floor. He also requested for the contractor to install a complete bathroom to the first floor (rear). All these additions suggest that the owner was building an independently accessible upstairs unit. During his ownership, the building was considered a single-family home, with two bedrooms on the rear end of the second floor. He remained the owner of the house until 1956, and during that time, he transformed many aspects of the interior layout. Much of the work concentrated on the erecting sections of the back stairway that led to the second floor and opened out unto the side yard. He also hired Iron Fireman Mfg. Company as the contractor to install a gas burner. By the end of his ownership in 1956, the housing authority considered the building an old duplex flat.
A few different owners took over the property between 1957 and 1974, but owner Thomas G. Flippin continued repairing the home. Initially, he gained ownership in 1975, but there were no changes to the structure until 1997 when the property began to face code violations. Work needed to be done regarding the installation of kitchen outlets with a separate circuit, lowering the south wall between the stove and counter at counter height, and installing outlets near the sink in bathrooms. He also needed to replace four light fixtures in the dining room, front bedroom, basement laundry and basement hanging. In the basement he needed to replace the receptacles with the ground type and lower two walls in the kitchen.
City directories list some of the past owners of this house:
1931 – Peterson John
1939 – Sander F. Peterson 2
1940– Peterson John 7
1944/5 – Sander Peterson & Rogers Jennie Mrs 1950 – Falk Otto H
1953/4 - Falk Martha B
1958 - Lindsley Alvin A
1959 – Lindsley Alvin A, Kennedy Donald
1962 – Lindsley Alvin A DI4-4015
1976 – Flippin Thos