Tomorrow I’m going to try to get over to the city archives but in the mean time I’ve found some interesting details. The house was described in the listing documents as built in 1900. But that’s a suspicious date – that’s what you put when it’s “at least 100 years old but we don’t know and can’t be bothered to get over to the archives to check.”
Also, my sister-in-law saw the place and she says it is absolutely built before 1900 just looking at it. And she’d know these sorts of things.
And sure enough, the building appears in roughly its present shape on this 1895 map, so we know it’s pre-1900 already. This is simultaneously one of the best and most frustrating things about knowing my sister-in-law: She’s so frequently right, and I want to be the one who’s right all the time.
This map from 1874 shows a building in the same location, although it looks like only half the duplex was built at that time. Also interesting to note that Summit Ave didn’t go all the way through from Walnut Ave to Vinal Ave.
Looking back a little further, in 1852, neither Vinal Ave nor Summit Ave existed at all.
So my guess for now is that the first half of the building was built in the 1860s or so, and that it was expanded into a duplex some time in the 1880s.