The house at 445 Summit Avenue was built in 1882 for Henry and Emma Shipman, and cost around $8,500 including the carriage house. Constructed of stone on the first story and frame construction for the second and third, the house is Queen Anne in style, and is noted by most architectural critics as the most well preserved example of the style on the avenue. Henry Shipman was born in 1830 in New Jersey and worked in the real estate business. While the house was under construction, it was sold to Herman Greve, a real estate broker, who then completed it.
Herman Greve was born in Westphalia, Germany in 1824 and came to the United States in 1847, settling in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, where he started work in merchant and iron business. After making a fortune in Pennsylvania he moved to Saint Paul in 1855, where he “invested heavily, having great faith in the prospects of the city”, as one newspaper of the time states. Maintaining his interests in Saint Paul, he moved to Wisconsin in 1856, where he pursued his interests in mercantile and farming. In 1880 he moved back to Saint Paul, and lived on Summit Avenue. He served as the director of the Chamber of Commerce in the city, and was an active member of the “Ancient Landmark” lodge. Herman died in his home on Summit Avenue, on October 20th, 1885, and was then buried in his family cemetery lot in Viroqua, Wisconsin. His wife Marie, lived in the house until her death on October 7th, 1907, and her two married daughters and their families lived in the house until 1912, when it was sold to Frank E. Ford. Ford added a wing to the west side of the home, which included a large den and sleeping porch. He also built the existing stone wall that wraps around the house.