In the nineteenth century, much of Far Northeast DC was open land sprinkled with farmplots. Alley-like unpaved streets straggled between major arteries, changing name frequently as they became lined with unnumbered frame houses.
One of these alley-like streets became 43rd Place NE, whose west side is the blind flank of a liquor warehouse. For a century, its east side was occupied by two frame houses separated by a vacant lot.
The houses' luck started to run out after they had been standing vacant for some time. In late 2002, the city issued "raze violation" notices for them. However, the boarded-up front door of the house at 913 43rd Place soon sported a sign reading "PLEASE! DO NOT DEMOLISH!".