In 1943 the house burned down when a fallen ember from the fireplace ignited a hand-woven curtain on a nearby window. All that remained was the ruins of the foundation and walls. The ruins became a local landmark known as "Shiprock" due to their prominent shape and location. The building was located on a hillock on the present alignment of 32nd Street.
Plans to remove the ruins, in order to extend 32nd Street through the site, created a public protest. The road was extended, but only after the protests resulted in the loss of federal funds intended for the project. The rear chimney mass (serving the master bedroom fireplace/furnace flues), all that remains of the ruins, was moved south in 1979 as a permanent monument marking the entrance to the Alta Vista subdivision of the land.