I went and drove down MLK Dr, which was obviously at some point a major artery from the northwest side of the city.
I realized that the front of this building, and the ones below, date from when the street was widened (note the Second Empire Mansard roof profile in the back), and the owners chose to update their facades and not rebuild them when the front of their buildings were removed for expansion.
Update: I revisited the buildings below in December of 2022.
I then returned to Cass Avenue, which I looked at in this post from 2013. This sad building continues to deteriorate.
And what beautiful Second Empire houses, now falling down.