Prior to the 1967 expansion of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, the area of the Upper Post known as Officer’s Row looked like a typical block of family homes. The houses were generously set back from Taylor Avenue giving each a large front yard. The considerable space between each residence allowed officers and their families privacy and plenty of space to live and play. Just like neighborhoods in the city, various architectural styles were used to add to the homey feel of this part of the fort.
Building 171 was originally constructed to house one officer and his family. After a fire partially destroyed the home in 1913, it was remodeled into a stacked duplex — one officer and his family lived downstairs, and another family lived in the upper unit. Each home was approximately 1,000 square feet, had a fireplace in the living room, and hardwood floors throughout. The 1922 remodel added screened-in porches that extended off the front of the building which gave each unit additional three-season living space. The addition of the porches, with their supporting columns and railings, removed most of the original colonial revival influences and gave it more of a neoclassical style that was unique on the fort at this time.