The Grad Building (1890)
1408-1410 11th Street
This property on the north end of Lot 5, Block 58 (Fairhaven Amended) was purchased by Michael Grad of Wisconsin from Nicholas Reigner of Fairhaven for $2,500 in May 1890. In the same year, Grad erected a two-story building in simple Italianate style.
The early history of this building is somewhat sketchy. The 1891 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map labels it "wholes liquers,” and the 1891 Fairhaven Directory lists the business of S.J. Holland & Co. selling wholesale liquors, wines and cigars. By 1897, the Sanborn Map displays a two-story structure with the first floor "vacant” and residential use above.
The Grad family (Michael, wife, Mary and children, Gilbert and Stella) are recorded as residing here while Michael is operating a saloon a block away at 1006 Harris Avenue (the former Blonden Block). After Michael Grad’s death (c. 1907), the family remained on the property for more than 30 years and converted the entire building to residential.
The structure remained residential until purchased by a group of architects in the early 1970’s. Architects Northwest extensively remodeled the interior and renovated the exterior in keeping with the design of storefronts of early Fairhaven. The exterior basement entrance that was part of the liquor business of the 1890’s is now sealed off, and a brick pavement accents the front approach.
For several years the building was occupied by Fairhaven Dental. As of January 2015, the building is owned by Fairhaven Health. All three levels are accessed by an interior spiral staircase. The name on the building's window honors the new owner's favorite movie; "It's a Wonderful Life".
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