Salt Lake City East Side Historic District
The Salt Lake City East Side Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [†] Adaptation copyright © 2011, The Gombach Group.
The Salt Lake City East Side Historic District has been created through a boundary increase of two previous districts: the Central City Historic District, listed on the National Register in 1996, and the Bryant Neighborhood boundary addition to the Central City Historic District (Boundary Increase), listed in 2001. The Salt Lake City East Side Historic District details a contiguous historic neighborhood to the east and south of the Central City Historic District. To avoid confusion this area will be referred to as the Bennion-Douglas district, or the Bennion-Douglas neighborhood. Because the combination of the three areas comprise a large portion of the city's east side neighborhoods within the historic corporate boundaries, it has been determined the newly combined National Register district should be renamed the Salt Lake City East Side Historic District.
The Salt Lake City East Side Historic District will amend the Period of Significance of the Central City Historic District and the Central City Historic District (Boundary Increase). Because there were no pre-1870 resources in the original nomination, the period of significance was determined to be 1870-1946, the latter date corresponding with the nomination date. Although the first boundary increase has resources dating prior to 1870, it was decided to wait until the final boundary increase (this nomination, the Salt Lake City East Side Historic District) to adjust the Period of Significance to address these resources as well as to address the post-WW II resources. For these reasons, the updated Period of Significance will be 1860s-1953.
The Bennion-Douglas district is an area of approximately 26 ten-acre blocks and 3 five-acre blocks. The western portion of the district is part of Salt Lake City's Plat B (1848) and the eastern half is within Plat F (1867). Within the district is the transition between the flat topography of the early settlement neighborhoods on the valley floor to the east-bench expansion that marked the historic eastern edge of the city. The streetscapes and architecture of the Bennion-Douglas neighborhood are similar to those found in the Central City and Bryant neighborhoods. All three areas are primarily residential with a mix of housing stock ranging from early settlement dwellings to present day. The majority of residences in the Bennion-Douglas neighborhood were built between 1890 and 1930. The three districts also include a number of historic commercial and institutional buildings.
The Bennion-Douglas district area includes 1,412 primary buildings, of which 1,071 (76 percent) contribute to the historic character of the neighborhood. Of the 341 (25 percent) non-contributing buildings, 206 are altered historic buildings and 135 are considered out-of-period. Ninety-seven percent of the contributing buildings are single-family dwellings dating from the 1860s to the early 1950s. Eight percent of the contributing buildings are double houses/duplexes, built between the 1890s and 1940s. The housing stock also includes four percent historic apartment buildings (with approximately four to six units per building). Contributing commercial and institutional buildings account for just over one percent of the total, and are found throughout the district. There are two main differences between the Salt Lake City East Side Historic District and its predecessors. First is a transition of development. The western half of the district is similar to the previous districts with the same block-and-lot development with later infill. As development moved to the east there is a noticeable, though gradual, pattern of more planned development through subdivision platting and tracts of contemporaneous housing. However, there is no distinct boundary between the two areas, and there are as many nineteenth century dwellings on the benches as there are post-war residences on the flatlands.
The second difference between the districts is in the type and extent of non-historic intrusions. All three sections have seen major commercial development along the boundary streets of 400 South and 700 East, which was the primary reason those boundaries were established for the first two districts. However, within each district the intrusions differ. The Central City neighborhood is closest to downtown and has seen numerous retail, commercial and office encroachment. The Bryant neighborhood has experienced less intrusion, but a number of large multiple-unit residences and professional offices have been built at the northern and southern boundaries of the district. The Bennion-Douglas district has seen recent commercial encroachments at the west and north boundaries, but within the district the commercial activity has been confined to historic locations. There are dozens of multiple-unit residential properties in the district, but, with a few exceptions, these are small in scale. The number includes both historic and non-historic buildings, however, the majority blend into the fabric of the historic neighborhood. Most remarkably, the numerous historic institutional spaces within the Bennion-Douglas district have continued as institutional spaces, although a few have changed usage and several of the historic buildings have been replaced. Because the district has predominantly low-level zoning and has been relatively insulated from development pressures, the historic neighborhood has seen a remarkable continuity of usage. The Bennion-Douglas neighborhood is the largest section of Salt Lake's original city to make a successful (i.e., well-preserved) transition into the twenty-first century.
The Bennion-Douglas neighborhood retains the feel of the original city plats devised in 1847 by Brigham Young (i.e., ten-acre blocks divided into eight lots with streets 128 feet wide). The district includes twenty blocks out of the sixty-three blocks of Plat B (1848). The Plat B blocks are west of 1000 East. It also includes eleven full blocks and three half-blocks out of the thirty-six blocks of Plat F (1867). These blocks are between 1000 East and the Mount Olivet Cemetery. The eight lots of each block were divided to provide an alternating frontage, with houses facing different directions on the alternating blocks. This was one of the distinctive features of Mormon town planning that was later duplicated throughout the western United States during the colonization period.
Originally, each one and one-quarter acre lot was designed for a single-family dwelling set twenty feet back from the street with space for outbuildings and garden plots in the rear. However the semi-agricultural character of Salt Lake City did not last long. The population grew from just over 6,000 in 1850 to 53,531 in 1900. The population would triple that number by the 1940s. Due to better access to amenities such as water and transportation, the east side of Salt Lake City developed more rapidly than the west side, which became isolated from the city core by numerous rail lines beginning in 1870. Within a few decades of the original city plat, nearly all of the Plat B blocks were subdivided and settlement-era dwellings were interspersed with infill housing that included both individual designs, speculative tract housings and commercial buildings. The housing stock ranges from Victorian cottages, bungalows and period cottages, to more recent duplexes and apartment buildings, with a gradual trend toward increased density throughout the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century. As traffic increased several streets were transformed into major thoroughfares.
As the street frontage became more densely packed, developers moved into the middle of the ten-acre blocks. By the time of the 1898 Sanborn map (the first to partially cover the district), thirteen of the fourteen blocks included on the map developed into the inner blocks with residential courts or alleys. The 1911 Sanborn map, which included all but three blocks of the district showed some type of inner block development in all but the farthest eastern block. The inner block development took three forms: 1) a dead end residential court or alley; 2) streets that started as a court or alley and later became through streets; and 3) through streets originally designed as such, often as part of a subdivision plat. Streets that extend through multiple blocks may include a combination of the above forms. In general, there are more of the first and second types in the older blocks, and the third on the benches. Also in general the first form tends to have a cluster of contemporaneous housing, the second form includes a mix of housing, and the third has contemporaneous housing as part of more planned development. The inner-court development (fifteen "dead-end" courts, seven narrow streets, and five wider streets) are detailed below by context. Also included are details of the eight subdivisions platted in the Bennion-Douglas district, all between 1889 and 1910, and which account for much of the development of the southeast bench lands.
Streetscapes and Landscape
Streetscapes within the Salt Lake City East Side Historic District include a mix of wide through-streets and more intimate inner block streets and residential courts. A number of alleys are still in use within the neighborhood, mostly to access garages. The major north-to-south thoroughfares are 700 East (with traffic lights at the cross streets of 400, 500, 600, 800 and 900 South), 900 East (with lights at 400, 600, 800 and 900 South), and 1300 East (with lights at 500 and 800 South). The west-to-east thoroughfares are 400/500 South (with lights at 800 and 1100 East in addition to those listed above), 800 South (with a light at 800 East), and 900 South (also with a light at 800 East). Most other intersections are maintained as two or four-way stops. With one exception all of the streets parallel the Salt Lake grid. Grand Street, a diagonal alley-court running through the 600 block above 900 East, is the only reminder of the path of a canal and railway, both constructed through the neighborhood in the late nineteenth century and which disappeared in the early part of the twentieth century.
The streetscape architecture varies considerably by location. The older blocks tend to have a mix of housing from different eras or small tracts (two to four dwellings) of speculative housing. A few of the courts have larger tracts. On the benches, especially within the subdivisions, a continuous streetscape of contemporaneous housing is more common. A few streets have a purely eclectic mix. Historic commercial buildings are found throughout the Bennion-Douglas neighborhood either along the thoroughfares or as "corner" stores. A strong commercial district has been maintained at the intersection of 900 East and 900 South. Institutional buildings are also scattered throughout the district.
Landscaping within the Salt Lake City East Side Historic District varies considerably and, for the most part, has been left to the discretion of individual property owners. Most houses have lawn with shrubs and flowers in front. There are quite a few extremely old shade trees, most associated with the older homes on the wider streets. All of the wide streets and most of the narrower streets have sidewalks with curb and gutter. The conditions of the courts vary, but all are paved. "Parking" strips (landscaped areas between the sidewalk and the street) vary from very wide to nonexistent depending on the location. Most of the parking strips have been planted with grass and some trees. One distinctive feature of the neighborhood is the median parking strips that run down the center of 800 East. Created in 1908 and originally planted with trees and flowerbeds, this landscape feature currently is planted with trees and grass. The "parking" is considered a contributing structure. Median grass strips are also found in the Central City and Bryant neighborhoods.
There are very few remnants of historic landscape features within the Bennion-Douglas district. Extant fencing is limited to some early twentieth-century pipe fencing. Sandstone was (and continues to be) a popular material for retaining walls in the area. The sandstone, along with granite, was also used to line the gutter (circa 1900) that runs down 500 South between 1000 and 900 East, the only remnant irrigation-ditch system used extensively in the neighborhood until the 1910s. Most green space within the district is associated with institutions. There are two pockets of open space that are relatively untamed: the gully in the Arlington Heights subdivision, and portions of the perimeter of the Judge Memorial [Catholic] High School athletic field.
The one public green space is Gilgal Garden, a private sculpture garden recently acquired by the Salt Lake City Corporation. Thomas B. Child, a stone and brick mason by trade, created the garden on a half-acre of land behind his home at 452 South 800 East. The garden contains fourteen sculptural arrangements along a winding path. The stone monuments were created between 1945 and 1963. Though some of the pieces post-date the historic period, Gilgal Garden is the most important work of outdoor folk art in Utah and is considered a contributing site in the Salt Lake City East Side Historic District. Salt Lake City is currently renovating the garden for public use with access at 749 East 500 South.
Architectural Styles, Types and Materials by Period
Single Family Dwellings: Early Settlement, 1847-1879
Settlement of the Bennion-Douglas neighborhood began almost immediately after the pioneers enter the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. According to historical accounts of the area, the first semi-permanent dwellings were log cabins, and dugouts on the hillside, with no extant examples of either type. The first permanent dwellings were small single cell and hall-parlor type homes, most often of adobe due to a scarcity of suitable lumber. Adobe brick making began soon after initial settlement and a number of adobe homes were built in the district during the early settlement period. Of the thirty-three adobe dwellings that appear on the 1911 Sanborn map, only nine are extant today, and those have been substantially altered with later additions and veneers. The adobe-building period was relatively short-lived in Salt Lake City because fired brick became available by the 1860s. There are a number of early brick residences in the Salt Lake City East Side Historic District that may have been constructed in the early settlement period. Most are single-cell, hall-parlor, or central-passage type dwellings, and many were later expanded into cross wings. The salient characteristics of the settlement-era homes are classical massing, wide frieze boards and cornice returns. In some cases the masonry has been covered in stucco making the buildings difficult to identify. Similarly log or early frames homes may be extant under later additions and veneers, but none were identified in the district. The Sanborn maps also note a handful of small stone dwellings, which may date from the settlement period, but the only extant example has been altered beyond recognition.
Single-family Dwellings: Establishment of a Middle-Class and Working-Class Neighborhood, 1880-1910
This period represents a time of rapid growth in the neighborhood. Housing types and styles of the Victorian era represent nearly one-third of the single-family dwellings within the Bennion-Douglas neighborhood. The residential architecture ranges from highly individualized designs for the upper-middle class to tracts of cottages for the working class. The dwellings appear as infill throughout the neighborhood, and the majority of inner block residential courts were developed during this period. These include East Place (1891), north end of Windsor Street (originally Chester Avenue, circa 1894), Brixen Court (circa 1900), Chase Avenue (circa 1904), Egli Court (circa 1905), Fletcher Court (1906), Hawthorne Avenue (circa 1905), Isabella Court (circa 1905), Mendon Court (circa 1900), and Musser Court (circa 1905). Portions of Elizabeth Street, Lake Street, Lincoln Street, and Sego Avenue were also developed during this time period.
There were seven subdivisions in the district platted during this period. All are east of 900 East, and prior to 1910. There was sporadic building within the subdivisions, however the street widths and lot configurations informed subsequent development. The subdivisions (in order of plat date) are Woodmansee (1889), Douglas Place (1890), Sunset View (1890), Sylvan Park (1891), Fremont Heights (1891), Arlington Heights (1891 & 1904), and Robinson (1906).
During this period, older homes were updated in the Victorian styles, and by 1880 the cross wing had replaced the hall parlor as Utah's most common house type. The house at 837 E. 500 South was constructed in 1873-1874 with the Second Empire-style, Mansard-roof cross wing added circa 1885. The octagonal cross wing was popular in the Bennion-Douglas neighborhood in the 1880s and 1890s, most often executed in brick, though occasionally in frame. The house at 1250 E. 500 South is an unusual example, actually an 1892 expansion of a circa 1880 house. The house is frame with adobe infill, covered in stucco with simulated quoins. The update was designed by Richard Kletting, the architect of the Utah State Capital, and is evidence of Kletting's stylistic range.
The Victorian-era homes in the Salt Lake City East Side Historic District demonstrate the asymmetrical floor plans favored in the late nineteenth century. There are twenty-one cross wings and twenty-eight side-passage/entry homes. Other types include twenty-one shotgun houses, all frame worker cottages built between 1889 and 1894, seven Foursquares (one and two-story), and several different versions of the rectangular block. However, the most popular house by far was the central-block-with-projecting-bays type with 176 representatives in the district. There are several early two-story examples dating from the early 1890s in both brick and frame. Beginning in 1895 and ending in about 1910, the smaller, one to one-and-one-half-story central-block cottage was ubiquitous. The earliest homes were constructed of soft-fired brick over an adobe lining; however the majority of later homes appear to be constructed of fairly good quality brick. Wood, as a structural material, occurs less frequently than brick, and most examples are covered in drop-novelty siding. Red sandstone (locally quarried) was the material of choice for foundations, and many houses have sandstone lintels and sills as well. The size of Victorian homes in the Salt Lake City East Side Historic District range from just-over-500-square-foot shotguns to two-story, 2,000 square-foot plus dwellings, with the average house around 1,000 square feet.
While many houses have distinctive stylistic elements (e.g. Greek Revival cornice returns on the early homes and Neoclassical porch columns on the later central blocks), the majority of Victorian houses in the Salt Lake City East Side Historic District would be considered Victorian Eclectic. Typical decorative elements include shingled gable trim, lathe-turned columns, and corbelled brick work. Unfortunately, historic photographs indicate that many homes have lost original wood ornamentation, particularly porch details such as balustrades and "gingerbread" spindle work. Probably the best examples of Victorian ornamentation are found on a tract of Victorian cottages at 833, 835 and 837 East 600 South. Built in 1891 by Salt Lake architect, Frank H. Perkins, the three elaborately decorated homes exhibit an unusual amount of detail for relatively modest residences. The larger Sawyer house at 763 E. 500 South is a Queen Anne style which includes a combination of shingles and siding and features a prominent square tower set diagonally to the rest of the house. A few of the larger homes have distinctive styles. The Keyser-Cullen House at 941 E. 500 South, constructed between 1879 and the mid-1880s, is an early brick cross wing with vernacular Gothic Revival details. It was built for the owner of the nearby Salt Lake City brewery and for many years was the most prominent residence in the area. The Keyser-Cullen House was listed on the National Register in 1999. The Tarpey house at 735 South 1100 East is a Richardsonian Romanesque turreted "castle" built in 1891, and probably designed by architect Samuel Dallas. Other domestic examples of the Victorian Romanesque are found at 521 S. 1100 East (built in 1893) and 511 South 900 East (built in 1902-1903). A distinctive twentieth-century example is the 1901 Shingle style, Craftsman home at 1135 E. 600 South (one of several in the neighborhood) designed by architect Alberto O. Treganza and his partner Walter E. Ware.
Single-family Dwellings: Rapid Growth, Prosperity and Community Building, 1910-1929
Over forty percent of the buildings in the Bennion-Douglas district were built in the 1910s and 1920s. At the end of 1929, few vacant lots were available in the district. The through streets were almost completely filled, and several more inner-block courts were developed. These include Grand Street (circa 1915), Koneta Court (circa 1915), Harmony Court (1916), Sunnyside Avenue (1914-1920), Colonial Place (1924), Fenway Avenue (1926), and Wilshire Place (1926-1927). Inner-block streets that became more developed were Douglas Street, Elizabeth Street, Lake Street, Lincoln Street, Lowell Avenue, McClelland Street, Windsor Street, and University Street. The Rogers' Subdivision was platted in 1917, and the majority of lots in subdivision plats from the previous period were nearly all sold and developed during this period.
Though Victorian cottages were being constructed as late as 1910, within a year the Bungalow was to become Utah's dominant architectural style for residences. The Bungalow was intended to be a comfortable, sheltering, low profile house, and most of the examples in the district are quite unpretentious. Bungalows appear as groups of tract houses throughout the district as well as individual in-fill between older homes. The typical Bungalow has a narrow end to the street with a variety of roof styles, and a full or half-width porch. The most popular material for Bungalows was brick, with some examples in siding, shingle, or stucco. Modest decorative elements in brick, wood and stucco are found on many Bungalows, especially those in the Arts & Crafts, or Craftsman style. Stone was used as a foundation material in early Bungalows, however after 1915, concrete was used almost exclusively.
One-third, or approximately 400, of the contributing single-family homes in the Salt Lake City East Side Historic District are Bungalow in type. However within this number is a range of styles. Early bungalows could be modest in scale and decoration similar to the tract of Prairie School vernacular houses built on Lake Street (circa 1913), or the elaborate Arts & Craft home built by mason and sculptor Thomas Child for his family. The largest tract of contemporaneous bungalows is found in Harmony Court. These brick and shingle, Craftsman-style Bungalows were built in 1916, and the court retains a high degree of historic integrity. More fully developed examples of the Arts & Crafts movement are found in the Bungalows built on Sunnyside Avenue in the Fremont Heights subdivision. Three neighboring residences (circa 1914) have the same California-style battered piers executed in cobblestone, brick and shingle. Bungalows with details reminiscent of the Prairie School were also popular in the district. Many homes on the east benches have highly individualized designs inspired by a number of influences. The Bungalow at 612 South 1200 East, built in 1911, is one of only two Bungalows built with clinker brick. The Arts & Crafts Bungalow at 673 South 1300 East was built in 1913 from a design kit in a Sears & Roebuck catalog. Its neighbor, a two-story Bungalow at 679 S. 1300 East, is a rare frame and stucco example. The Arts & Crafts Bungalow at 867 S. 900 East, built in 1912, by the architect Frank W. Moore, has an unusual amount of detail influenced by the Japanese style, and possibly Greene & Greene.
The advent of World War I slowed residential construction in the Bennion-Douglas neighborhood, but starting in the 1920s, most homes were built in the popular period revival styles. The district contains a high number of residences that illustrate a transition between the Bungalow and the slightly later English-style cottages. The homes, mostly constructed in the five years between 1922 and 1927, are compact, constructed of regular and striated brick with Colonial Revival details. A large percentage of these homes were built in small tracts and reflect the growing popularity of "national" styles during the 1920s. Fenway Avenue, a group of sixteen cottages built in 1924, is an example of court development during this period. Full-blown examples of the Colonial Revival, such as the house at 1228 E. 600 South (built in 1926) are relatively rare. The symmetrical and stucco-covered cottage at 784 S. Elizabeth Street, built in 1924, is an unusually reserved example of the neoclassical in domestic architecture.
In the late twenties, the English-style period revival cottage was popular throughout Utah, and many good examples are found in the Salt Lake City East Side Historic District. They are found as individual infill, in tracts of two or three, and in the Wilshire Place court. All are constructed of regular or striated brick, and most display the characteristic steeply pitched gable roof. The English cottages on 1000 East, built in 1929, represent the smaller examples. The medium-sized house at 738 S. 1100 East, built in 1929 near the University of Utah, included a student apartment. The house at 761 S. 1100 East, built in 1927, is an unusual one and-one-half story example. Several nineteenth century homes were also given a "period cottage" update during this period.
Single-family Dwellings: Depression, War and Post-War Stability, 1930-early 1950s
The depression years temporarily halted residential construction in the early 1930s, but by the late 1930s, the Bennion-Douglas neighborhood was a beehive of construction activity, including a high percentage of remodeling. A Bungalow at 933 E. 600 South was given a Tudor style second floor in 1938, an early "pop-top" example. A later, and currently non-contributing, example is at 762 S. Lake Street where a Victorian house has a second floor dating from 1955. The single-cell adobe home at 563 S. 800 East was expanded to the north with a frame and stucco addition in 1950. The addition ironically gave the residence a belated symmetry and a classical appearance. New construction is represented by the modest homes at 777 & 779 E. 600 South built in 1940. These homes typify the minimal traditional house developed by Federal Housing Administration to promote home ownership during the depression. The floor plans are small and compact, and stylistic elements are limited to the projecting entrance. A rare Modern example is at 727 South 1100 East, a white-stucco, Art Moderne residence built in 1938.
With little available land to develop, the Bennion-Douglas neighborhood did not experience a post-World War II building boom, but houses of the post-war period are scattered sporadically through the district. The homes at 1121 East 900 South (brick, 1948) and 644 S. Elizabeth Street (brick-faced concrete block, 1950) represent a transition from the minimal traditional house to the early ranch styles of the 1950s. The house diagonally set at 750 S. Elizabeth Street is a frame example. The circa 1953 ranch house at 1176 E. 600 South, which is attached to a circa 1920 (now altered and non-contributing) grocery store, illustrates how these later homes were "shoe-horned" into the existing neighborhood. Single family dwellings outside of the historic period are virtually non-existent in the Bennion-Douglas district, since after 1955 residential construction consisted primarily of multi-family units.
Multiple-family Dwellings: Double Houses (Duplexes) and Apartment Buildings
Eight percent of contributing buildings are historic double houses (commonly referred to as duplexes). Another four percent are historic apartment buildings. All the apartment buildings are small in scale, containing between three and six units. Most of the double houses were built between 1900 and the 1920s, and are dispersed throughout the Salt Lake City East Side Historic District. Stylistically, in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century, double houses are classified in three types: 1) the "double cottage" consists of two units under one roof; 2) the two-story, horizontally divided duplex; and 3) the urban model with a flat-roof and decorative brick parapets. Examples of all three are found in the Bennion-Douglas neighborhood. Fairly common in the neighborhood are brick bungalow and period cottage duplexes, built between 1915 and 1929. The duplexes at 806 S. Lincoln Street and 1170 E. 600 South, both built in the 1920s, are representative of the group. The two-story, frame and stucco duplex at 516 S. 900 East, built in 1924, is a rare exception for the period. There are a handful of double houses within the minimal traditional period, of which the duplex at 748-750 S. 1300 East built in 1939 is a good example.
While the double houses within the Bennion-Douglas district have many elements in common, there is only one possible description of the historic apartment buildings: no two are alike. The following four examples illustrate the diversity of styles and types. The triplex at 802-806 S. 800 East, built in 1903, has an unusual brick parapet design, which mimics its neighbor, an older commercial building. Noble Place (originally Noble Court) is actually a group of six duplexes. The buildings, constructed of striated brick in the mission-style, were built in 1925 by developer Samuel Cottam. Both the buildings and the surrounding green space have been exceptionally well maintained. The complex is unique both for its architectural style (a possible nod to nearby Trolley Square) and its courtyard arrangement. The two-and-one-half story classical revival frame apartments at 1018-1020 East 800 South include six units built in 1938. The largest historic complex is a group of eight fourplexes along 500 South between 900 and 1000 East. This complex of brick buildings in minimal traditional style was built on a large parcel of vacant land in 1942.
Apartment complexes continued to be added to the Salt Lake City East Side Historic District throughout the remainder of the twentieth-century. Between the 1950s and 1970s, the "box car" apartment building was popular: a long block of units with one end (often a blank wall) facing the street. A few other types were built in the inner blocks in the 1970s and 1980s. Two high-rise apartments were built at the north end of the district in the mid-1960s. Despite these non-historic developments (including two large-scale complexes added to the district in the last five years), the historic character of the Salt Lake City East Side Historic District has been fairly well maintained and new development is carefully monitored.
The twenty-three contributing commercial buildings within the Salt Lake City East Side Historic District are a varied and eclectic group representing all of the contextual periods. The largest buildings are located near the commercial centers at the north and south ends of the district on 900 East. The smaller neighborhood stores are scattered throughout the district. Generally, the same development pattern is true for non-contributing (altered and out-of-period) commercial buildings as well. With the exception of the commercial encroachment along 700 East and 400 South, and the large supermarket at 870 E. 800 South (built in the 1960s and expanded in the 1980s), most of the commercial buildings are not intrusive in the primarily residential neighborhood.
The Bennion-Douglas district developed an early industrial base, a few remnants of which are still extant. Around 1878, John Lefler built a steam-powered flour mill near the corner of 900 East and 900 South, the city's edge at the time. An early industrial building, the mill is two-stories high with a saltbox shape. Its brick walls are currently covered with stucco. In 1911, the Woodman brothers bought the buildings and constructed a two-part commercial block of brick in front of the old mill. The Lefler-Woodman building, with a current address of 859 E. 900 South, retains its historic integrity as a restaurant and retail store. It was listed on the National Register in 1992. The flour mill block may have been the origin of the commercial center that developed on the corner of 900 East and 900 South, but an early narrow-gauge railway and a later streetcar line made the node viable. A large number of commercial buildings are found there, especially along 900 South, but only those on the north side are within the boundaries of the Salt Lake City East Side Historic District.
At the northern end of the Salt Lake City East Side Historic District, Jacob Moritz and Aaron Keysor established the Salt Lake Brewing Company in 1871. The earliest buildings were located above 1000 East between 400 and 500 South (within the boundaries of the Bryant neighborhood) near a natural spring. The brewery site was later expanded at the turn of the century, fell in decline after the prohibition era, and was completely demolished by the 1950s. However, the brewery complex also included three buildings on the west side of 1000 East, which are still standing within the boundaries of the Bennion-Douglas district. To the south is the bottling works (two brick attached buildings constructed in 1902 and 1904), and to the north is the brewery office, a two-part brick block completed in 1905. The buildings are in good condition and are used as a restaurant and hotel.
An early industrial center was also located at 726-734 East 400 South. The Vienna Bakery had replaced a pioneer shoe factory at the location by 1911. The bakery built a two-part commercial block building in 1919, the parapet of which can still be seen above the later expansions of the Continental Baking Company and Wonder Bread plant (expanded between 1927 and 1967). The only other large-scale commercial building of significance is the Hyland Exchange located at 847 S. 800 East. Built in 1911 for the Mountain States Telephone Company, the building housed offices and switchboards. The two-part commercial block is constructed of brick and sandstone with an abundance of classical details. It is currently being used for storage, and is in good condition despite the blocked front entrance.
Smaller commercial buildings are scattered throughout the Salt Lake City East Side Historic District. There are a few examples of the simple gable, frame building with false-fronts (all altered and non-contributing). Several others have been demolished. The Hamilton Market at 801 S. 800 East, started out in 1899 as a false-front corner store with a lean-to. It was later enlarged and updated with shake shingles and a tile storefront in 1941. The early brick examples have maintained more historic integrity. The following buildings were all originally neighborhood grocery stores. The building at 774 E. 800 South, built in 1901, has an unusual "expressed" gable and an attached residence. The grocery-meat market at 560 S. 800 East was built in 1906 with a storefront remodel in 1935. It is currently a residence. The two-story brick store with attached residence at 1154 E. 500 South was built in 1914 and remodeled in 1944. An unusual stone example from the early 1890s is located at 863 East 700 South. It was constructed of sandstone blocks quarried by the owner in his spare time. The west side was the commercial side and the east side was a residence. It was remodeled in 1944 and has been used as a candy factory for more than fifty years with the two-foot-thick stone walls serving the purpose well by keeping the building cool.
Small-scale commercial development continued within the Salt Lake City East Side Historic District throughout the first half of the twentieth century, but gradually the ventures became more specialized. Service stations appeared in the district in the 1920s. Of the two extant examples, the People's Service Station at 504 S. 900 East is the best preserved. The metal station was constructed in 1927 with the concrete block "grease room" built in 1949. Other specialty shops include the circa 1930s appliance store at 937 E. 900 South and the 1947 Johnson Ice Cream Company at 680 S. 900 East. Commercial development in the district slowed in the 1950s and 1960s, and many commercial buildings were vacated or demolished. In the last two decades there has been increased interest in revitalizing the commercial resources especially in the 900 South and 900 East node.
The Bennion-Douglas neighborhood has a continuing history of strong institutions. The best surviving example for the first two contextual periods is the Tenth Ward Square, listed on the National Register in 1977. The square is a complex of three connected LDS Church buildings just south of 400 South on 800 East. The center building, a Greek Revival-style brick meetinghouse, was constructed in 1873, replacing an older adobe meetinghouse. At the northeast corner of the block, the Tenth District School, a Victorian, two-story brick schoolhouse was built in 1887. At the south end is a Gothic Revival brick chapel designed and built by Ashton Brothers, a Salt Lake construction company, in 1909. The three extant buildings — meetinghouse, school, and chapel — are connected by a series of passages. In 2000, the LDS Church completed a three-year, three million dollar restoration of the buildings. The 1873 building is the oldest surviving meetinghouse still used by an LDS congregation.
The LDS Church dominated the first one hundred years of the Bennion-Douglas neighborhood. The First Ward built a Prairie School-style meetinghouse in 1913 to replace an older brick building at 760 S. 800 East. This building was listed on the National Register, but later removed after demolition in 1976. The remaining historic resources for the LDS Church all date from the early 1950s. Three are Colonial Revival style buildings: the Emigration Ward building (1951, now the Capitol Christian Center), the Douglas Ward meetinghouse (1953) and the Salt Lake Valley Deaf Branch building (1952, now a Seventh Day Adventist Chapel). The Park Stake Center, built 1952-1953, is a relatively rare post-war Modern example of church architecture. The architect Henry P. Fetzer designed the building with Thomas B. Child as general contractor.
Other denominations were also early additions to the neighborhood. At the opposite end of the block from the Tenth Ward Square, the Phillips Congregational Church built an adobe meetinghouse in 1886. It was later demolished and replaced by a brick chapel in 1905. Architecturally, the 1905 building is a unique combination of the Gothic Revival and the Arts & Crafts movement. In January 1950, the Phillips congregation was merged with another congregation, and the building was sold. It has been used for a variety of purposes since and is currently an office building. About 1910 the Catholic Church built the large Judge Memorial Hospital on the east bench at 1100 East and 650 South. The nearby Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel, designed by architects Dart & Wardrop, was constructed a few years later in 1913. During the 1950s, the site was developed as an elementary school and high school. Only a small fragment of the hospital remains, but the Tudor-Gothic Revival chapel is still in use, though slightly altered. Other contributing church buildings include the First Unitarian Chapel at 529 S. 1300 East, designed by Slack Winburn and built in 1927 (with additions in 1960 and 1993); and the First Baptist Church at 777 South 1300 East, designed by Louis S. Gamble & Associates, and built in 1951 in the Gothic Revival style.
There are two historic school buildings in the Bennion-Douglas neighborhood. The Douglas School, built in 1915 at 660 S. 1300 East was originally an elementary school. It currently houses special programs for the Salt Lake School district and there are plans to renovate the building for used as a community center and private school. The Roosevelt Junior High School, located at 843 S. Lincoln Street, was built in 1921 and expanded in 1925. The Episcopal Church-oriented Rowland Hall-St. Mark's Academy currently uses the building as a private school for its upper grades. Both educational buildings are two-story, brick structures designed by Salt Lake architect Francis D. Rutherford in the Jacobean Revival style. One of the most imposing institutional buildings in the district is the Sarah Daft Retirement Home at 737 S. 1300 East. Another prolific Salt Lake architect, William H. Lepper, designed this building in 1913. The two-story neoclassical brick building has been beautifully maintained over the nearly ninety years it has been in use.
Only a handful of agricultural outbuildings remain from the family-subsistence farming era in the Bennion-Douglas district. The vast majority of contributing outbuildings are garages, which began appearing in the area in the late 1910s. These garages are most single-car, simple-gable frame structures that face the street. A large number of frame with face-brick piers are found on the east benches. There are relatively fewer examples of all brick or brick-faced concrete block garages. A few early concrete block examples are also considered contributing. There are no historic garages in the Salt Lake City East Side Historic District that would be considered individually significant, with the possible exception of one stone building, built around 1900 as a bunkhouse.
The historic resources of the Salt Lake City East Side Historic District (Boundary Increase) of the Bennion-Douglas neighborhood illustrate a range of architectural types and styles that span nearly a century. These resources augment the significance of the Central City and Bryant (Central City Boundary Increase) neighborhoods to include the eastward movement of development within the city's original limits. Considering the large area and number of historic resources, the amount of non-historic intrusion in relatively low, and the integrity of the contributing resources is high. Though most of the buildings were designed and constructed by undocumented local builders, the majority of Salt Lake City's prominent early architects have representative work in the district. The Bennion-Douglas includes a number of historic commercial and institutional buildings, which were constructed in the historic period and continue to provide valuable services to the community today. The neighborhood has shown remarkable stability through the decades even though it is one of the city's most diverse neighborhoods.
The historic resources within the Bennion-Douglas neighborhood combined with those of the previously listed Central City Historic District Boundary Increase document the successful transition of the largest contiguous portion of historic Salt Lake from nineteenth-century agricultural outpost to twenty-first-century urban neighborhood.
The Salt Lake City East Side Historic District (Boundary Increase) is an approximately twenty-seven-block boundary increase of two previous districts: the Central City Historic District, listed on the National Register in 1996, and the Bryant Neighborhood boundary addition in the Central City Historic District (Boundary Increase), listed in 2001. The boundary increase described in this nomination is to the south and east of the previous districts, and is currently known as the Bennion-Douglas neighborhood. Together the three districts comprise a large portion of the city's historic east side neighborhoods, and the combined district is named the Salt Lake City East Side Historic District.
The Bennion-Douglas neighborhood includes 1,412 buildings, of which 1,071 (or 76 percent) are contributing historic buildings. The boundary increase is architecturally and historically significant both as an extension of the previous Central City districts and in its own right as a historical record of the gradual development of Salt Lake City from an agricultural outpost to a thriving urban center. The increase area is significant for its ties to the early settlement and the subsequent economic and cultural diversification of Salt Lake City's population. Many descendants of the earliest pioneers in the area stayed to build homes and businesses, and later large numbers of immigrants were drawn to the neighborhood's industrial base, streetcar access, and pleasant neighborhoods. Through the years, the diverse residents of the area have established strong institutions, most of which thrive today. Similar to the Central City and Bryant neighborhoods, the Bennion-Douglas neighborhood illustrates Salt Lake City's progression from an isolated, communal society to a mainstream American city.
The Bennion-Douglas neighborhood is also significant for the diversity and integrity of the historic housing stock, which dates from settlement-era adobe-brick homes to circa 1950s ranch houses. The majority of buildings date from the 1890s to the 1930s. These historic resources include representatives of all of the architectural styles of the historic period, as well as numerous examples designed by the city's most prominent architects. The neighborhood also contains eight decades' worth of historic commercial and institutional buildings. The area also illustrates the various development patterns of the historic city, including the wide streets and large lots of the pioneer planners, later infill and inner-block development, and subdivision platting for the streetcar suburbs. Overall, the area retains a high degree of architectural integrity with little intrusive construction. Remarkably, the historic development patterns and land uses remain a visual part of the neighborhood today, making the Bennion-Douglas increase the best example of a residential area within Salt Lake City's original boundaries making a successful transition to a 21st century neighborhood.
The History of the Salt Lake City East Side Historic District (Boundary Increase)
Early Settlement and Growth. 1847-1875
On July 24, 1847, a small contingent of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon Church) entered the Salt Lake Valley under the direction of Brigham Young. On August 2, 1847, a little more than a week later, Orson Pratt and Henry G. Sherwood began to survey what was then known as the City of Great Salt Lake. In less than a month, the survey of Plat A, consisting of 135 blocks, was completed. The land was divided into ten-acre blocks, each containing eight lots of one and one-quarter acres. Streets were 132 wide feet. One house could be constructed on each 1.25-acre lot with a standard setback of twenty feet from the front of the property. The rear of the property was to be used for vegetable gardens, fruit trees, and outbuildings for subsistence livestock and chickens. The system was designed to promote efficient land use and discourage social isolation. Farmland was provided in the outlying areas. Forty acres were set aside for the temple, and two other blocks set aside for public use, the original fort site (now Pioneer Park), and the current site of Salt Lake City municipal building (now known as Washington Square). After the church officials selected lots for their personal use, the remainder of the land was divided by casting lots. Scarce resources such as timber and water were to be held in common with no private ownership.
Within two years, the population of Salt Lake City had grown to 6,000 and additional lots were needed for the new arrivals. Plat B (east of Plat A) and Plat C (to the west) were surveyed in 1848 and 1849 respectively. The Salt Lake City East Side Historic District (Boundary Increase) includes fifteen blocks at the southeast corner of Plat's B sixty-three blocks. In February of 1849, the city was divided into nineteen wards of the LDS Church and a bishop was selected to preside over each ward. With a few exceptions, each ward included nine blocks. The boundary increase is within the First and Tenth Ward areas. The boundaries of the Tenth Ward were Third South (known as Emigration Road) to Sixth South, and Sixth East to the base of the foothills (although Ninth East was the edge of the platted city at the time). A public square, known originally as the Tenth Ward Square, was set aside between Fifth and Sixth South, and Sixth and Seventh East. The First Ward boundaries were Sixth South to 900 South, and from Sixth East to the foothills. For many years, Ninth South delineated the southern edge of the city limits.
Beyond 900 South, the land was platted in five-acre blocks "to accommodate the mechanics and artisans" in what was known as the Big Field Survey. Larger lots of 10, 20, 40 and 80 acres were surveyed in outlying areas for farmers. Originally church officials planned to construct an eight-foot adobe wall around the city limits (including portions of 900 South to about 950 East and north to the north bench of the city). The wall was only partially completed, but it left a physical demarcation between the ten-acre blocks of the early plats and the Big Field survey south of 900 South.
Though lots were allocated and the basic governing (church) hierarchy in place, initial settlement proceeded slowly. Most of the earliest settlers spent the first few winters in crude log cabins, tents, or in wagon beds, within or near the fort (present day Pioneer Park at 300 South and 300 West). Although much of the commercial activity was concentrated in the downtown area (around Temple Square), in the spring of 1849 several families moved onto their allotted lots at the eastern edge of the city. They included the families of David Fairbanks (1810-1895), the first bishop of the First Ward, and David Pettigrew (1791-1863), the first bishop of the Tenth Ward. The 1850 census indicates that Fairbanks was a mason and Pettigrew was a farmer. Pettigrew, along with his grown son James Phineas (1825-1879) joined the Mormon Battalion in 1846 and came to the Salt Lake Valley via San Diego. His wife, Elizabeth Alden Pettigrew (1791-1858), and the rest of the family arrived in 1848. A number of members of the Mormon Battalion settled in the Tenth Ward area, located on Emigration Road (now 300 South); the ward was the de facto end of the Mormon Trail. Other early settlers were significant in early Mormon history. Isaac James (1818-1891) and Jane E. Manning James (1813-1908) were the first free blacks to settle in Utah. Converts to the LDS Church, they met and married in Nauvoo, Illinois, and arrived in Utah in the fall of 1847. Isaac and Jane James and their seven children were among the earliest members of the First Ward.
By the 1850s a number of settlers had moved to their lots and begun building permanent homes. Some of the houses may have been log (newly hewn or relocated from the fort site), and a few dugouts were built in the foothills, but most homes were built of adobe. Most of these early adobe homes were single-story, one or two-room (single cell and hall-parlor) dwellings with classical symmetry and little ornamentation. Most were subsequently enlarged and covered with plaster or other veneers as soon as the owner had the necessary resources. The circa 1860 adobe home of Caroline Cope Pettigrew (1840-1893), David Pettigrew's second wife, still stands at 540 S. 800 East, but has been greatly altered. Across the street at 563 S. 800 East, the single cell adobe home of James Malin (1839-1909) and Margaret E. Laney Malin (1843-1908), built circa 1865, has been enlarged and covered in stucco, but retains many pioneer features. Malin was a farmer, and also the keeper of the Tenth Ward stray dog pound.
Salt Lake City grew quickly after initial settlement in 1847, and has been described by historians as an "instant city." The population increase was steady, supported by the annual influx of Mormon convert immigrants, mostly from England and Scandinavia, and the characteristically high Mormon birthrate. While the arid soil and necessity of irrigation systems made crop production difficult, the cash crop of gold dust left in Salt Lake City by "forty-niners" traveling to and from California gave rise to a thriving mercantile district in the center of town. The overall economy benefited by this traffic. The city was incorporated in 1851 with many lines of the original charter devoted to regulating burgeoning commerce. In the two decades before the coming of the railroad in 1869, a steady flow of emigrant wagon trains passed through the area. Most of the LDS Church convert emigrants camped in the public squares near downtown before being assigned to settlements throughout Utah. The independent wagon trains camped in the Tenth Ward Square before moving on to California. The merchants and artisans of the area took advantage of the economic activity. Thomas Speirs (also Spiers, 1804-1877) built a blacksmith shop just across the street from the square. Joseph Warburton (1831-1911) and his wife Emma W. Warburton (1832-1920) operated a grocery store in the same area. Small-scale industries sprang up throughout the district. Isaac Laney (1815-1873) and his wife, Sarah A. Howard Laney (1822-1902), had a molasses and cider mill at the corner of 600 South and 900 East. In 1852, Alexander Brim (1801-1872) built a tannery on 700 South. Hugh Moon (1815-1870) built a distillery around the same time. Mary Ann Cheshire Ramsay (1841-1922) had a millinery shop where she sold straw hats braided by her mother Elizabeth Keys Cheshire (1821-1903) and her younger brother William (1852-1927).
Some of the early settlers only stayed in the area a few years. Bishop David Fairbanks and his wife Susana Mandeville Fairbanks (1819-1899) were called by Brigham Young to settle Salem, Utah, and the family left the First Ward in 1852. However, most of the settlers remained in the area for the rest of their lives. All five children of Thomas and Mary Cochran Speirs (1804-1871) stayed in the area to build their own homes and businesses. Between 1860 and 1870, the population of the boundary increase more than doubled. The Tenth Ward grew so fast the congregation replaced its 1849 adobe meetinghouse with another adobe building in 1853. An early brick meetinghouse was constructed in 1873, and is still extant at the corner of 800 East and 400 South. The First Ward also replaced an adobe building from 1851 with a brick structure in 1873 (demolished) on 800 East between 700 and 800 South. By 1870, the First Ward had extended its boundaries to approximately 1300 South to include the "suburbs." For many years, school was either held in private homes, such as the one taught by Sarah Julia Hill Bement (1831-1911) from her home in the First Ward, or in the LDS meetinghouses. Social and cultural events were also held in the meetinghouses. Celebrated actress Maude Adams (1872-1953) made her stage debut as a babe in her mother's arms in the Tenth Ward meetinghouse.
Thirteenth East became the official eastern boundary of the First and Tenth Wards in 1862 when the United States Army established Camp Douglas in the foothills above Salt Lake City. The post was officially established to protect the overland mail route, and unofficially to "keep an eye" on the Mormons. The camp was later known as the Fort Douglas Military Reserve. John Saunders, who as a young boy lived in a dugout on the east bench remembers the soldiers frequently passed through the area, and a number of cast-off uniforms "made their way into the patchwork of [pioneer family] quilts. Around 1867 thirty-six additional city blocks, known as Plat F were platted east of 900 East, sixteen of which are in the district. The establishment of Fort Douglas (and the discovery of mineral resources by its soldiers) was the beginning of the end of Salt Lake City's relative isolation, a transformation accelerated by the coming of the railroad. The Tenth Ward Band played at the festivities held to mark the driving of the last spike on May 10, 1869. By 1872, railroad lines ran from Ogden to Provo, and railroad cars replaced the wagon trains as the preferred method of cross-county migration.
By the mid 1870s, the flat lands of the Bennion-Douglas neighborhood were fairly densely settled. The streets were lined with the homes of early pioneers, their grown offspring, and their immigrant neighbors. The houses were surrounded by shade trees, which were usually poplars and lindens. The homesteaders dug irrigation ditches, built fences around their lots, planted gardens and small orchards, and raised whatever livestock was necessary for family subsistence. Water came from a variety of sources: a few springs on the foothills, a number of artesian and other wells, an irrigation ditch dug from Emigration Canyon, and a vast system of ditches lining the streets. One of the largest water projects was the Salt Lake and Jordan Canal, authorized in 1855, but not completed until in 1882. The canal, nicknamed the Brigham Young Canal, cut a diagonal path through the neighborhood. The 20-mile plus waterway was originally intended to float granite blocks from Little Cottonwood Canyon to the Salt Temple site, but proved too shallow to be practical. However, some residents of the neighborhood were able to use the water for irrigation.
Despite the appearance of self-sufficiency, the 1870 census indicates the economy of the district was becoming increasingly complex. For example, alongside the farmers, laborers, merchants, and artisans, were the lawyer, the photographer, the clock repairer, the hotel steward, and William Pinnock (1822-1890), the temple gatekeeper. As the economy diversified and the pioneers became more prosperous, they built more substantial permanent homes. Salt Lake had a number of brickyards by 1870, including two on 400 South, and one east of 900 East, between 700 and 800 South. Although small adobe houses were built up until the 1880s, fired brick became the most sought-after building material. Two homes built around 1873-1874, illustrate the typical homes of the late settlement period. In 1873, new converts Thomas Johnson (1838-1891) and Ann Sarah Dearns Johnson (1838-1891) brought their family from England to Salt Lake City. They obtained land on the steep foothills of the First Ward where they built a modest adobe house. Thomas Johnson was a simple laborer. Despite the addition of a bungalow porch in the 1920s, the Johnson home at 1004 E. 800 South is the best-preserved adobe home in the district. In contrast, the same year John W. Keddington (1850-1921) built a substantial brick home at 837 E. 500 South for his new bride Aquilla Biggs (1853-1918). John Keddington was the son of William Keddington, (1829-1918), a butcher, and Mary Ann Keddington (1829-1915), residents of the Tenth Ward since their immigration in 1853. John Keddington worked as a teamster for the bishop's storehouse. He also found time to be an accomplished musician and was a featured solo cornetist for the Salt Lake Theatre Orchestra. Around 1885, a large octagonal wing with a Mansard roof and leaded-glass windows was added to the Keddington house at the east end. The home has had only minor alterations since.
Establishment of a Middle-Class and Working-Class Neighborhood: 1875-1910
Between 1875 and 1910, the population of Salt Lake City grew from around 15,000 to 93,000. The population also became more diverse. The non-LDS population grew two to three times more quickly than the LDS-based population, increasing its share from about 10 percent of the city's population in 1875 to 45 percent in 1910. The immigrants who came with the railroads represented greater ethnic diversity than their Mormon-convert predecessors who were primarily from Britain and Scandinavia. While the majority of these immigrants settled in neighborhoods near the railroads, a large number made their way into the Bennion-Douglas neighborhood. Many came to work in the area's growing industrial base, and others took advantage of a fairly sophisticated streetcar system to access employment, a system completely in place by 1911. The streetcar was only one of many community programs initiated during this period. The new immigrants established their own religious and cultural institutions while the LDS population continued to grow and strengthen its own. This growth brought a dramatic physical change to the community as well: pioneer lots were divided and subdivided, the street frontage became densely packed with infill, and development moved to the inner-blocks with new streets and residential courts. In addition, all eight of the subdivisions within the district were platted between 1889 and 1910. The architecture changed as well, from a local builder vernacular to the pattern books, and builder-architect designs that mirrored mainstream America.
The Bennion-Douglas neighborhood had two early commercial centers. One located on 400 South between 700 and 800 East, boasted a planning mill and lumber company, one of the earliest and largest LDS-church cooperative store, a shoe factory, a laundry, and a bakery. The second was near 900 South and 900 East where John Lefler (1837-1915) established his steam-powered gristmill in 1878-1879. By far the largest employer during this period was the Salt Lake City Brewery established by Aaron Keyser (1829-1914) and Jacob Moritz (1849-?) in 1875. Over the course of four decades it became a large complex of interconnected buildings on both sides of 1000 East near 400 South. In 1905, Jacob Moritz stated the brewery was the "largest and most up-to-date plant West of the Missouri River." Today only an L-shaped remnant of the complex survives at 462 South 1000 East: the bottling works (1902-1904) and the office building (1905). There was a second bakery and a greenhouse on the benches (both demolished). As early as 1878, the Salt Lake Herald described the Tenth Ward as the "Ward of Industry."
The majority of commercial buildings erected during this period were small neighborhood groceries, general stores, and meat markets (there were at least twelve by 1910). Adam Spiers (1834-1908) ran the Tenth Ward Store at 424 S. 800 East (demolished). The Warburton family expanded their market at the corner of 700 South and 700 East (built in 1909, altered in the 1960s). Other extant examples include the Joseph Simons (1858-1939) Store at 432 S. 900 East (built in 1896, altered in the 1930s and again in 2001); the John S. McCullough (1874-1915) Grocery and Meat Market built in 1906 at 560 S. 800 East; and the well-preserved 1901 brick false front store at 774 E. 800 South. Two examples of store and residence combinations include the sandstone building at 861-863 E. 700 South (constructed by Samuel E. Allen [1834-1904] around 1895 and used by several different proprietors, the storefront was altered in 1945); and the Robins Grocery (run by Elizabeth Gailey Robins (1851-1918) and her two daughters before their marriages, Jennie [Lund] (1886-1975) and Verda [Barrett] (1897-1982). This store was built in 1906, and was altered in the 1980s.
Transportation was a major component of the neighborhood's development. Several narrow-gauge railroads traversed the area during this period. The Utah Central and Rio Grande has a spur along 900 South to the Utah Roller Mills (formerly the Lefler Mill) in the 1890s. The Salt Lake and Fort Douglas Railway (established in 1885) ran from 2100 South to Fort Douglas, somewhat parallel to the canal through the district. The railway was later connected to the streetcar lines. The Emigration Canyon Railroad (1907-1917) was also designed to transport quarried stone, and in its later years was used to transport pleasure seekers to the cool canyon during the summer months. The first streetcar to the area was a mule-drawn car from the city out to Warburton's corner where a turntable was installed (circa 1872). In 1882 the streetcar was extended to Liberty Park, just outside the district at 700 East and 900 South. The park was the first major public park, developed on land that had been a farm and a gristmill.
By 1891 an extensive network of electric streetcars transported passengers throughout the Bennion-Douglas neighborhood. Lines ran along 700 East and the southern end of 900 East. One line followed the current light rail line along 400 South to the curving around the bench at 1000 East to 500 South. Between 1908 and 1910, the Utah Light and Railway Company built a complex of mission-style car barns and repair shops on the original Tenth Ward Square, which had been the state fairgrounds from 1865 to 1901. The complex, later known as Trolley Square, is in the Central City Historic District. Between the 1890s and 1910 there were a number of other improvements in the area. Water mains were laid in 1892 and 1893. Many of the former irrigation ditches became stone-lined rain gutters. In some areas sidewalks were laid and street lighting installed. Between 1906 and 1911 medians or "parkings" were added to some city streets. The medians originally had trees and flowerbeds. The grassy median along 800 East is the only example extant within the district.
Most of the important non-LDS institutions in the Bennion-Douglas neighborhood were established during this period. Many of Salt Lake's non-Mormon population came for the business opportunities (e.g., brewery founder Jacob Moritz was a Jew of German descent). The house of his partner, Aaron Keyser, near the brewery at 941 East 500 South, a circa 1879 brick and stucco cross wing, was one of the first and most prominent non-Mormon homes to be built in the district. The leadership of a small Catholic contingent was strengthened to provide for an influx of Catholic miners and railroad workers in the 1860s and 1870s. Around the same time, several evangelical Protestant denominations set up ministries in Utah to proselytize the Mormons. One of the first contributions of this group to the neighborhood was Mount Olivet Cemetery (just east the district), the only public cemetery to be established by an act of Congress in 1874. In 1877, forty acres of the Fort Douglas reserve were set aside for the cemetery and it was platted into lots. Bishop Daniel Tuttle of the Episcopal Church wrote in his 1906 memoir that the Mormon "cemeteries are the most forlorn of all forlorn places" and further stated that the example of Mount Olivet "shamed the Mormons into taking better care of their own ground."
Another Mormon institution found woefully inadequate by non-Mormons was the school system. Salt Lake's LDS ward-based, quasi-public school system provided only a rudimentary education. The Protestant church schools often provided a higher quality of education for both Mormon and non-Mormon children. Around 1885, the Congregational Church moved its Pilgrim School to a new site at 479 South 700 East, where they built an adobe school and meetinghouse. For a short time, there were two schools known as the Tenth Ward School, the Pilgrim School, and the one administered by the LDS Tenth Ward and built in 1887 near the ward meetinghouse. This Victorian Eclectic brick structure, also known as the Tenth District School, was among the earliest designs by architect Richard K. A. Kletting (1858-1943). After the passage of Utah's first Free Public School Act in 1890, the majority of church-sponsored schools were eventually replaced by neighborhood public schools: Webster School (400 South and 800 East) and the Hamilton School (800 South and 800 East). Both schools were built around 1897 and demolished in the 1970s.
In 1907 the Phillips Church replaced their adobe meetinghouse with a Gothic Revival building (extant though currently used commercial purposes). Around the same time, the Liberty Park Methodist Church built a chapel on the corner of 800 East and 900 South (demolished in 1964). The Catholic Church built the largest institutional building in the district, the Judge Mercy Hospital (constructed in 1910 and demolished in the 1950s). Through this period, the LDS Church membership continued to grow. In 1900, all the residents living east of 900 East in the First Ward were organized as the Emigration Ward. They built their own chapel at 1000 East and 700 South soon after (this building was later damaged by an earthquake and demolished in 1950). Two years later, the ward members living south of 900 South were organized as the Salt Lake 31st Ward. The same year the Tenth Ward was divided, with all members east of 900 East organized as the Salt Lake 33rd Ward (that meetinghouse is extant and located in the University Neighborhood Historic District, National Register listed 12/95). On February 26, 1904, the Liberty Stake was organized from the Salt Lake Stake and all the neighborhood wards became part of that unit. The Tenth Ward built a new Gothic Revival style chapel adjacent to its 1873 meetinghouse in 1909.
The Victorian era is a period of rapid growth and change, and a doubling of the population. James Malin, the pioneer farmer, moved out of his adobe home and sold it to his son James E. Malin Jr. (1839-1909), a streetcar driver, and his wife Margaret Laney Malin (1843-1900). The censuses between 1880 and 1910 list a new crop of occupations, which were more urban in nature: coal and ice dealers, clerks and secretaries, telephone operators and reporters, civil engineers and bill collectors, etc. In 1900, nineteen year-old Edna Leffler was employed as a hairdresser. Torild Arnoldsen (1871-1916) was one of the first University professors in the area. He was listed as an English teacher on the 1910 census. By the early 1900s, railroad workers are listed in the district, much later than in the western sections of the city. The housing stock increased dramatically to house all these workers and their families. Moreover the range and variety of architecture is greater than in any other time period.
Those who had the means built substantial residences in fully developed architectural styles. Many of the area's early homes were expanded and "dressed up" with Victorian ornamentation. In 1892, James Fennemore, photographer for one of John Wesley Powell's Colorado River expeditions, asked Richard K.A. Kletting to expand and decorate a modest circa 1880 house at 1250 E. 500 South. In general, the more elaborate homes were built for persons of means on the east bench. One block away from Fennemore's home, at 521 S. 1100 East, a two-and-one-half story, brick Victorian Romanesque house was built for the Buckle family. George Buckle (1855-?) was born in Australia and his wife Esther E. Buckle (1859-1923) was English. George Buckle worked as a foreman for the Deseret News bindery. A more distinctive Victorian Romanesque house is the flat-roofed, heavy masonry residence at 511 S. 900 East, the result of a 1902-1903 collaboration between the home's first owner, Andrew P. Michelson, a contractor, and Swedish architect, John A. Headlund. One of the few prominent homes not on the east bench is the home of Abial Sawyer (1834-?), a lawyer who moved to Utah with his family in 1890. The turreted, two-story frame, shingle and siding Queen Anne-style house is located at 763 E. 500 South.
More typical (and nearly on the flat lands) are the Victorian cottages, mostly central block with projecting bays, but including examples of cross wings, side-passage types and shotguns. Though they vary considerably, these cottages share a common bond. With the coming of the railroad, access to a variety of materials, and the availability of pattern books and handbooks, allowed local builders to produce exact replicas of Victorian cottages being built all across the United States. Ornamentation such as lathe-turned porch posts, spindle work and sometimes "gingerbread" cut woodwork can be found throughout the district. Historic photographs indicate much of the decoration, especially on porches has been lost. There was a great deal of variety in the homes built before the turn of the century. The cross wing Thorup family home, built circa 1885, at 735 S. 900 East features an octagonal wing. Joseph Thorup worked for the Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institution (ZCMI). Many homes of the 1890s were built speculatively. For example, several side-passage and central block homes on Lake Street and 800 South were developed as a tract in the 1890s by Salt Lake real estate developer Glen R. Bothwell (?-1935). The inner block street was developed at the same time, and was originally called Glen Avenue, presumably after the developer. The home at 727 E. 800 South is a two-story frame central block type house. The first owner Patrick Ryan (a miner?, 1852?-?), only lived in the home two years before losing it in a foreclosure. Glen Bothwell, with his wife Jessie E. Bothwell (?-1929) went on to become one of Salt Lake most prolific developers, especially in the more prestigious suburbs of the southeast benches.
The residents of these early speculative tracts were ethnically and economically diverse. German immigrants Anton Schambeck (1881-?) and his wife Helen (1882-?) began renting the Ryan house soon after their marriage in 1905. Anton worked in a factory making hardwood floors. Their neighbors to the east were homeowners William Carter (1860-?) and Ida May Carter (1868-?) from Virginia and Iowa respectively. William Carter worked for the railroad. Like many residents in the neighborhood, both the Schambecks and the Carters had family members and boarders living with them. According to one report, in April of 1888, there was a "scarcity of rentable houses and a great demand for them," particularly four-room cottages for small families.
The frame shotgun-type houses were also typically built in tracts, although a few single examples can be found in the Salt Lake City East Side Historic District. The majority were rental units. The largest groups were those on East Place and Windsor Street. The East Place cottages were built in an inner-block court for workers at the Salt Lake Brewery in 1891. The builder was probably carpenter, Niels Jensen (1857-1934). Prior to this time there was a large contingent of German immigrant workers living close to the brewery, some in boarding houses. The intent to house brewery employment was probably never realized because by the 1900 census the tenant families of East Place were mixed ethnically and only one head of household worked at the brewery. By the brewery's peak around 1910, workers were still plentiful but scattered throughout the district, and not all of the workers were immigrants. Thomas Keddington (1862-1935), the youngest son of William Keddington, was a maltmaster and kettleman for the brewery. The eight Windsor Street (originally Chester Avenue) shotgun cottages were also rentals, built slightly later in 1894 and slightly more ornate. The 1900 enumeration of Windsor Street includes five female heads of household, all working in the laundry and sewing trades. By 1910, one of them, Mary Dilley (1851-1943), a widow from Scotland, was a homeowner at 525 S. Windsor. Mary Dilley worked for the Troy Steam Laundry (in the Central City Historic District, demolished in the 1980s).
The central-block-with-projecting-bays type house represents the greatest percentage of residences built during the Victorian period. The purest examples of Victorian Eclectic architecture are the three frame homes at 833, 835 and 837 E. 600 South designed by Salt Lake architect Frank H. Perkins (?-1925) in 1891. The families of the three original owners represent a somewhat higher socioeconomic class within what was essentially a working-class neighborhood. Warren M. Griffith (1865-1945) at 835 E. was a stenographer who became a surgeon. Wellington Stafford (1859-1947) owner of 837 E. was a cabinetmaker for and later vice-president of the Bennett Glass & Paint Company. Daniel L. Straup (1862-1945) at 833 S. was a lawyer who served as a justice on the Utah Supreme Court for twenty-two years. His wife Delia Straup (1866-1947) was president of the Women's Republican Club and the Ladies Literary Society. She also taught school. Not one of these families stayed more than a few years. The Straups built a new home at 840 E. 700 South in 1900. In 1907 they sold the home to Bryant S. Hinckley (1867-1961) and Ada Bitner (1870?-?), parents of Gordon B. Hinckley, current president of the LDS Church, who was born and raised in the home.
The year 1900 separates the central-block houses into two distinct categories. Those built before 1900 tend to be an eclectic group of varying materials and sizes. Those built after 1900 are nearly identical one-and-one half story brick cottages with Tuscan porch columns, leaded-glass parlor transoms, and shingled gable trim. The following example illustrates the trend toward more uniform designs. When Mary A. Leonard (1856-1917) and her husband Fred J. Leonard (1849-1925) built their home at 919 E. 500 South in 1892, it was a stately central block constructed of brick with a rock-face brick, rounded parlor window hood. Later in 1901 when Mary Leonard subdivided her property, she had the builder construct two identical modest brick cottages to the west. The Victorian cottages of Fletcher Court were built in 1906 for brewery management. Francis E. Fletcher (1868-1956), a carpenter who lived nearby on Elizabeth Street, built the court. The cottages are very typical of the period and can be found just through the block from East Place. The 1910 census shows a few brewery employees living in the rental cottages. The occupants of 433 S. were Francis Fletcher's son and daughter-in-law, Willard N. Fletcher (1884-1972), also carpenter and his wife, Emily Grether (1882-1985). Willard probably helped build the homes and moved in shortly after his marriage in 1905.
Around the turn of the century, the east bench of the Bennion-Douglas neighborhood became fashionable. The prolific Salt Lake architect, Walter E. Ware built a home at 549 S. Elizabeth Street (altered) around 1895. The area must have suited his partner Alberto O. Treganza (1876-1944) who also built a home on the same block at 1135 E. 600 South in 1901, perhaps on the Ware's advice. The developers of the eight subdivisions between 1889 and 1910 were well aware of the area's potential. However they must have been somewhat disappointed because building activity did not really begin until after 1910, and the subdivisions would not be completely developed until the late 1940s. For example, the Tarpey "castle" at 737 S. 1100 East was built the same year the multi-block Arlington Heights Subdivision was platted, in 1891. It remained nearly alone at the western edge of subdivision until the 1920s and 1930s. The smaller Sylvan Park Subdivision consisted of only a fourth of the block at Elizabeth Street and 600 South. The plat for Sylvan Park was filed in 1891 by landowner Sylvia A. Merrill, however twenty years later (as shown on the 1911 Sanborn) only five dwellings had been built. The last lot in the subdivision was sold in 1950. Despite slow progress the subdivision plats set the stage for a steady migration of the middle-class to the Bennion-Douglas neighborhood's east benches. The city officially recognized growth in the area with the dedication of the Fire Department No. 5 at 1023 E. 900 South in November 1907.
Rapid Growth, Prosperity and Community Building: 1910-1929
Though this period lasted only two decades, it represents 43 percent of the contributing buildings in the Salt Lake City East Side Historic District. With a slight dip during World War I, there is steady growth and development from 1910 to the start of the depression years. The majority of structures built at this time were single-family dwellings built in the bungalow and period cottages styles. A number of important institutional and commercial buildings were also constructed during this period. Most of the construction activity occurred on the east benches of the district, some of it attracted by the new East High School and the Mount Olivet streetcar line on 1300 East (established 1911-1913). The Bennion-Douglas neighborhood represents the general trend of movement of the middle-class to the east benches. Those who could afford it found new homes (only slightly modified for the sloping topography), reliable streetcar access, new schools, and a view of the city above the hazy coal smoke. Streets were paved, new trees were planted, subdivisions were filled, and the remnants of the neighborhood's rural beginnings, such as the Salt Lake and Jordan Canal, disappeared.
The Ward family epitomizes this geographic and upward mobility. Frank J. Ward, a young father, and his wife, Luella bought a lot in the Robinson Subdivision on a nearly empty block. He built a small frame house in the rear at 1234 E. 600 South in 1910. Frank worked as a real estate salesman for the Kimball & Richards Company. He and Luella had six children by 1920. In 1926, shortly after Frank became general manager of the Crescent Ice Company, the family bought the adjoining lot and built a two-story Colonial Revival house at the front of the property (1228 E. 600 South). The family had grown to nine children by the time of the 1930 census. The cottage in the rear was rented out to Franklin J. Wilcox, a meat cutter, and his grown (and widowed) daughter Buela Hinckley, a dental nurse. The two-story home was, and still is one of the most imposing residences in the neighborhood, and the cottage in the rear is still a rental unit.
A host of institutions were built to both attract and support new residents of the east bench neighborhoods. East High School was built on the eastern half of the Fremont Heights Subdivision property in 1912-1913 (it was demolished and replaced with a new structure in 1997). An elementary school, the Douglas School, was built in 1915 at the corner of 700 South and 1300 East. The Emigration Ward of the LDS Church was organized and built a new chapel at 700 South and 1000 East in 1910 (demolished in the 1940s). In 1913, the Catholic Church commissioned a Gothic Revival chapel, Our Lady of Lourdes, built on the corner of the Judge Mercy Hospital site. A few years after World War I, the hospital building was sharing space with a parochial school. The Judge Memorial School was officially established in 1921. In 1927, the First Unitarian Church moved into a New England-style chapel overlooking the city at 600 South and 1300 East.
As the benches became increasingly residential the industrial base moved elsewhere. The prohibition era hit the Salt Lake City Brewery hard and the company never recovered. By 1928, the buildings were mostly vacant. The only industries left on the bench were two large greenhouse complexes on 500 South (at 1000 and 1300 East). During this period, three neighborhood groceries were added to the community: John Streadbeck Grocery (built 1914 at 1150 E. 500 South), Douglas Cash Grocery (1170 E. 600 South, built circa 1920, altered in the 1970s), and the Johnson Store just north of East High School on 1300 East (1914, demolished circa 1975). Also on 1300 East is the Sarah Daft Home for the Aged built in 1913, a neoclassical retirement home financed by noted Salt Lake businesswoman and philanthropist Sarah Daft. The 1920 census lists three staffers and twenty-two elderly residents.
The flatland neighborhoods to the west also saw some institution building during this period. The Roosevelt Junior High was built a few years later in 1921 at 835 S. Lincoln, a fairly centralized location. The First Ward built a Prairie School-style meetinghouse in 1913 (demolished in 1972). However, most of the construction activity was commercial and concentrated in the 900 South and 900 East commercial node. The 1911 Woodman Block (built in front of Letter's Mill) was only one of many early twentieth century commercial buildings in the general vicinity. By 1925, the following businesses were on a stretch of 900 South between 800 and 1000 East: the Sandcrest Meat and Grocery Market, a Piggly-Wiggly, the Allen Oil Company, the Bennett Gasoline & Oil Company, Squires Barbershop, and Excelsior Banking Company. The Tower "moving pictures" Theatre was built just a few years later. The largest historic commercial building in the Salt Lake City East Side Historic District is the Hyland Exchange Building, built for the Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company in 1912. Part of the company's program of regional control, the building at 847 S. 800 East housed offices and switchboards. Many of the telephone company's employees came from the immediate area. For example, Obed D. Loveridge, a bookkeeper, Elna S. Simonds, a nineteen year old switchboard operator, and Sylvia Fuller, a sixteen year old file clerk, all lived about a block from the Hyland Exchange building.
The period's residential construction is found in three distinct development patterns: individual-design homes (as infill or in subdivisions), tract housing, and court development. The row of bungalows on the 1100 block of 700 South, built between 1911 and 1917, vary both architecturally (Craftsman, California-style, Prairie School etc.) and in the socioeconomic makeup of the occupants. The 1920 census of this block includes two physicians, a professor of languages at the university, a mechanical engineer, a railroad worker, a hotel clerk, a furniture maker, and the city treasurer's "dog tax" collector. Just around the corner lived James H. Mays, who was living with his family at 749 S. Elizabeth Street while serving his final term as a US congressman. The Arts & Crafts bungalows on Sunnyside Avenue are a more cohesive architectural tract, built between 1914 and 1916. This neighborhood was built on the west half of the Fremont Heights Subdivision. The subdivision was platted in 1891 by Lewis P. Kelsey, and James K. and Kate B. Gillespie (of Kelsey & Gillespie Real Estate), but few homes were built before the bungalow period. The occupants of these bungalows were solidly middle-class families. The heads of household included a produce salesman from California, a smelter office clerk from Nebraska, and two Norwegian immigrants: one working for the railroad and the other an installer for the telephone company.
The entire Salt Lake City East Side Historic District is particularly architecturally rich in the quality of individual bungalows, many designed by the city's most prominent architects. Thomas B. Child, a mason and contractor, and his wife Bertha Rummel lived in a Neoclassical Craftsman Bungalow designed by Bernard O. Mecklenberg and built by Child in 1911 (452 S. 800 East). The Alfred C. and Mary A. Sweet home, built in at 867 S. 900 East in 1912, is a stylish and elegantly appointed Arts & Crafts bungalow reminiscent of Greene and Green architecture. It was designed by architect Frank W. Moore and built by contractor C.O. Dunshee. The two-story home at 679 S. 1300 East is an unusual stucco bungalow. It was built for Charles E. and Lucretia Murdock. He worked as a manager for the Modern Home Building Company. His neighbor at 673 S. 1300 East, George Walker was an assistant manager for the Galigher Machinery Company. The design for the Arts & Crafts bungalow built in 1913 by George and his wife Edyth came from a Sears & Roebuck catalog kit.
Harmony Court (750 East and 600 South, originally Jensen Court) is a good example of housing built for the working class. The inner-block court was developed in 1916 and includes both single-family homes in the court and double houses along 600 South. The densely packed bungalows were built in the same year with modest Craftsman details, and, according to the 1936 tax assessor, were of "cheap construction." The occupants of Jensen Court were mostly Utah-born with a few immigrants from Britain and Scandinavia. They were employed as a packer, an electrician, a street maintenance worker, a candy store sales lady, a butcher, a laundry assistant, and an automobile salesman. All were renters and none stayed more than five years. Though the majority of the working class lived in older homes on older streets such as Windsor or Lake Street, a few built smaller bungalows on the benches. One example is the home built for Otto L. Doerffler, a laborer for the Portland Cement Company, and his wife Esther, at 622 S. 1000 East. The home was built in 1911 and is similar in style and scale (about 750 sq. ft.) to the Harmony Court bungalows.
A few working-class families also lived in multiple-family housing, which began to appear in the district during this period, later and less frequently than in the parts of Salt Lake City closer to downtown. The earliest examples from around 1910 are found near 700 East, while later examples are found throughout the district. Most were built speculatively and never occupied by the property owner. The two-story stucco duplex at 516-520 S. 900 East, built in 1914 by Mangus Bergstrom (an interior decorator for ZCMI) is an architectural and historical exception. He lived there with his wife and family and rented the other unit. A typical example is the double house at 922-924 E. 800 South. Built in 1916, this urban-style duplex was occupied in 1920 by the young families of Floyd Dern, a painter and decorator, and Leslie Skidman, a men's hat salesman. Around the corner at 802-804 S. Lincoln Street is a bungalow-style example from 1926, occupied by the families of William Emsley, an oil company foreman and Leighton Hewlett, a clerk for the inter-urban electric railroad. A handful of double houses were built with period revival details. One example is 576-578 S. 900 East, built by the Vincent-Peterson Real Estate Company in 1924. Charles Stains, a watchman, and Ned E. DeGroff, the manager of a used car market, occupied the two homes.
That a used car salesman was living in the district in 1924 says something about the transformation of the district's character to an urban, automobile-based neighborhood. A survey of the Sanborn map of 1911 shows twice as many agricultural outbuildings as "auto" garages. During the 1920s, the coops and sheds were demolished to make way for garages. A few of the owners of older homes built garages with alley access, however most were built with access to the street. The automobile traffic at the bottom of 900 South at 900 East was such a concern in 1920 that the Utah Automobile Association installed a sign reading "DANGER, GO SLOW." Six service stations were built in the district in the 1920s. Most have been demolished or altered, except the station built by grocer Joseph Simons in 1927 at 504 S. 900 East. Several streets were developed as automobile thoroughfares. Among them was 1300 East, which was extensively improved in 1916, and designated as a boulevard in 1925. One event that heralded the beginning of the end of an era occurred in 1928 when the city began removing the streetcar tracks from 400 South in order to facilitate traffic leaving downtown and turning south on 700 and 900 East. Land use zoning was implemented in Salt Lake City in 1927, but the Bennion-Douglas neighborhood had fairly definite patterns in place by then.
During the 1920s, the period revival cottage was very popular in the district. The majority of homes built in the five years between 1922 and 1927 were builder-designed, colonial-revival cottages that were similar to the bungalow in plan, but without the prominent porch. A good representative is found at 963 E. Lowell Avenue, built in 1924 for Erwin Spriggs, a streetcar conductor. The Erwin and Lilly Spriggs home is built of striated brick with a small neoclassical eyebrow porch is very typical of the period. A unique example is the neoclassical stucco cottage of Rosco, a civil engineer, and Clare Groo also built in 1924 at 784 S. Elizabeth Street. The last of the residential courts were developed with this house type: Colonial Place (1924), Fenway Avenue (1926), and Wilshire Place (1925-1927). Wilshire Place also includes the popular English-style cottages built during the late 1920s. The occupants of these homes were primarily salesmen, clerks and office workers. With few vacant lots, the English cottages appear mainly as infill. A tract of three modest cottages built in 1929 on East were occupied by the families of white collar workers at J.C. Penny's, Prudential Insurance, and the Standard Oil Company. A medium sized example is found at 738 E. 1300 East. This was the home of Harvey Elliott, a salesman, and Lucy Elliott built for $3,000 in 1929. Lawyer Arthur and Cordelia Mays built a large $10,000 English Cottage at 761 S. 1100 East on the Arlington Park gully in 1927. The period revival style was so popular than several older homes got "makeovers," like the one given to the early Victorian cottage at 525 S. 1100 East in the late 1920s.
The most distinctive example of period revival architecture is found in Noble Court (originally Noble Place) at 760 S. 800 East. Noble Court was developed by Samuel Cottam in the 1925, and is a group of six duplexes group around the courtyard. The mission-style buildings mimics the trolley barns built nearby twenty years earlier. Originally the property included a metal arch with the words Noble Place supported between two posts. The early residents of Noble Court, with one exception, were young couples in their twenties and thirties with one or two children. They represent a cross-section of the working class in the construction trades, in retail, in civil service and for the railroad and mining industries. One of them, Anthony Andross, was the Greek immigrant proprietor of a dry-cleaning establishment.
Depression. War and Post-War Stability: 1930-early 1950s
The stock market crash of 1929 effectively put an end to building activity in the district. Many communities, including Salt Lake City, did not fully recover until the post-World War II era. The Bennion-Douglas neighborhood was an exception that proves the rule. Although there was a period of no growth during the early 1930s, by 1938 there was a flurry of residential and commercial building activity in the area. As a result the area shows no evidence of an economic decline of any significance. Because growth was so steady between the late 1930s and 1940s, few vacant lots were left by the 1950s. The neighborhood did not experience the postwar building boom that exploded in the suburbs of Salt Lake City. The amenities of the neighborhood (including the addition of natural gas lines in the late 1940s) outweighed many of the disadvantages of an aging building stock. The bench neighborhoods remained attractive, and at least one Salt Lake notable chose to reside there. Maurice Abravenal, music director of the Utah Symphony Orchestra between 1947 and 1972, bought a bungalow for his family near the Douglas School soon after starting as the symphony's conductor.
The most dramatic changes to the district were in transportation. A program of street improvements was undertaken in the 1930s. Most of the wide streets and many of the inner-block streets were at least partially paved. Only the private courts still had dirt roads. Sidewalks were installed on many of the streets, and the irrigation ditches were filled and replaced with curb and gutter. Prompted by a dramatic decline in the use of public transportation, the remaining streetcar lines were removed. Gasoline-powered buses had replaced three of the routes in 1933. The line on 1300 East, which was designated a state highway in 1936, was the last streetcar line in the district to be removed, sometime in the late 1940s. In 1936, the 400/500 South curve was created to facilitate heavy automobile traffic on the thoroughfare. The small bungalow-lined Sunnyside Avenue gave its name to the boulevard built to the mouth of Emigration Canyon.
The release of the 1930 census provides an excellent opportunity to understand the demographics of the Bennion-Douglas neighborhood. The 1-1 ratio of renters to owners remained steady from the previous two decades. Not surprisingly more owners than renters lived on the benches, though no area is exclusively one or the other. With the exception of Noble Court, the courts, which had been originally developed as rental properties, were now a mix. With few multiple-housing units available most of the renters were living in the neighborhood oldest homes. The census records the value of the home, ranging from a $600 shotgun on Windsor Street to the Ward family home worth $10,000. Rents were between $10 and $50 a month. And in a sign that Salt Lake City had joined "middle America" and entered the twentieth century, nine out often households in the district had a radio set.
For the first time in the district's history the Utah-born population outnumbered those born elsewhere. The flow of migrants and immigrants had slowed from the previous decades. While the greatest number of immigrants came from Western Europe, a few new countries showed up on the census. These included Jews from Russia, Poland and Latvia, also Greeks and Syrians, and at least one family from Iceland. Unlike many parts of Salt Lake City where ethnic groups lived in enclaves, these immigrants were fully integrated with their neighbors. Those neighbors were many of the descendants of the first pioneers. William Warburton, grandson of Thomas Warburton, was a dentist living on Elizabeth Street. Ernest and Harriet Spiers were retired and living in a $7,000 home on 1300 East. Some were still living in their ancestral homes, like the Thorups on 900 East and the Keddingtons on 500 South. The 1930 census also shows a general trend toward white-collar work for both the working and middle class. There were numerous salespeople, clerks, stenographers, etc. There is an increase in managers and professionals. By 1930 the district was also home to a large percentage of teachers, both public and private, and university professors. This census was taken one year after the start of the Great Depression and it is interesting to note an increase in two-income households, sometimes a working spouse, but more often a grown son or daughter.
Through this period the neighborhood institutions remained strong. The LDS population had experienced steady growth during the first half of the twentieth century, though the increase was not as pronounced as it had been previously. On October 24,1943, the Park Stake organized from Liberty Stake. The LDS Church organized three new wards (Douglas, Duncan and Webster) during this period. The church also constructed four new buildings, all in the early 1950s: the new Emigration Ward (1951), the Douglas Ward (1952), the Salt Lake Valley Deaf Branch building (1952), and the Park Stake Center, built 1952-1953. The Park Stake also purchased the former telephone building for use as a bishop's storehouse. For the most part, the non-LDS churches were stable. The one exception is the Phillips Congregational Church, which merged with another congregation in 1950, and subsequently sold its meetinghouse to a bakery. In 1951, the First Baptist Church built a large chapel at the corner of 800 South and 1300 East. Its neighbor to the north, the Sarah Daft retirement home continued to provide healthcare for the elderly. The 1930 census lists seventeen residents and four staff members. The Judge Memorial School was a growing institution. According to the 1930 census twelve Catholic sisters (all teachers) were living on the premises. In the 1950s, the church demolished the hospital building, replacing it with a grade school and a high school.
As mentioned earlier, there was a relatively high amount of building activity in the 1930s through the 1950s. One of the earliest homes of the period was a brick English-style cottage built at 564 S. Douglas Street in 1933. The house was constructed on one of the few vacant lots in the Rogers Subdivision (platted 1910). In the late 1930s Scott M. Matheson, governor of Utah from 1977 to 1984, lived in the home as a boy while his father was serving as assistant U.S. district attorney. The majority of single-family residences built during this period were modest homes based on the "Principles of Planning Small Houses" developed by the FHA in 1936 to help stimulate home construction and ownership. The twin homes at 773 and 777 E. 600 South built in 1941 represent the basic of these principles. A more individualistic design is at 750 S. Elizabeth Street, and was built in 1939. This home is unusual for its materials (shingle and frame), but also for fact it is set diagonally on its lot. The first owners, Maurice and Gladys Sipherd, built this home across the street from their previous residence, and were probably more interested in aligning the house with the Arlington Park gully than with the street. Maurice Sipherd was a salesman for the Colgate-Palmolive Company. The Daniel and Zillah Larson home at 1121 E. 900 South, built in 1948, is a post-war example. Daniel Larson worked for the Veterans' Administration. The Leo and Freida Twiggs home at 644 S. Elizabeth Street is a small and austere example from 1950. The ranch or rambler-style house is represented in the district by only a handful of examples. One of the most interesting is the circa 1955 brick house, which looks like it belongs in the Salt Lake suburbs, but was built adjoining the circa 1920 grocery store at 1176 E. 600 South by store owners Marvin and Ruth Ludlow.
The atypical house of the period is a white, stucco Art Moderne residence at 727 S. 1100 East. The home was built for Stanley W. and Leah Christensen in 1938. Stanley was the assistant secretary for the Christensen Construction Company. Building activity in the district included several major remodelings. In 1938, the bungalow home at 933 E. 600 South was given a Tudor Revival second story and divided into four apartments. A later example is a brick Victorian at 629 S. Windsor that had a frame and sided second story added in the 1950s. The adobe home of pioneer James Malin was expanded by a third. More common alterations were rear additions and enclosed porches. Multi-family residences continued to be built as lots became available. The apartment building at 1018-1020 E. 800 South was built where two nineteenth-century frame dwellings stood near the old canal. The eight four-unit apartments between 920 and 980 E. 500 South were built in 1942-1943 on two of the largest parcels of underdeveloped land still left in the district. The apartment complex is significant for a rare wartime allocation of scarce building resources. The original occupants of the apartments were mostly couples. Their employment (as drivers, salesmen, railroad workers, teachers etc.) does not appear to have been directly related to the war effort.
There is perhaps no better indicator of the vitality of a neighborhood than commercial investment. During this period the bakery on 400 South was expanded, and half a dozen smaller stores were remodeled. Just after World War II Janet and Russell Redenbach purchased and remodeled the old sandstone store on 700 South. The Janet Russell Candy Company they established is still in business there today. Nearby at the corner of 700 South and 900 East, the Johnson Ice Cream Company built a new store in 1947. At 801 S. 800 East, Nellie and Silas Clark established a grocery in a small frame building in 1891. It was later known as the Hamilton Market for its location near the school. In 1941 the square footage of the store was doubled with a new glass and tile storefront. In the early 1950s, the Tower Theatre was renovated with a new Modern slipcover.
Suburban Flight and Urban Renaissance (Out-of-Period Development): 1950s-2002
If the Bennion-Douglas district had a period of instability and decline, it occurred in the 1960s and 1970s. Many of the district's residents participated in a general "suburban flight" from the older urban neighborhoods. However, the neighborhood's access to downtown and the University helped the neighborhood maintain a stable, if somewhat transitory, population base. Small and large apartment complexes were built throughout the district in the last half of the twentieth century, although only a handful are large enough to be intrusive. Unfortunately a large number of historic homes were razed to accommodate them. Intrusive commercial expansion particularly hurt the historic neighborhoods along 400 South and 700 East. In contrast the 900 South and 900 East commercial node remained intact and vital serving as a hippie-era retail center with businesses such as the Sunshine Garden Sandwich Shop. However, the nearby Smith's supermarket at the corner of 800 South and 900 East has expanded its building and parking lots so frequently since the 1960s that it now occupies more than half a block. The older neighborhoods were especially vulnerable. The Hamilton and Webster Schools were razed, and only the Webster School was replaced a new building (Bennion Elementary School). The LDS population shrank causing the Duncan and Webster Wards to be dissolved. The Emigration Ward was moved to the First Ward building and its chapel sold. For a time in the 1960s and 1970s, many of the small commercial properties and some of the older homes were vacant and boarded. For many residents, Liberty Park was a place to avoid even in daylight.
The turning point came in the early 1970s when the Trolley Square property was redeveloped. The trolley barns, which housed gas buses for a time after the streetcars, had been vacant for several years. The newly rehabilitated complex of retail, dining, and entertainment gave a much needed lift to the neighborhood. However, measurable progress toward economic vitality has occurred mainly in the past decade. In the 1980s and 1990s, the city instituted a program of improvements to Liberty Park, which has increased the desirability of the surrounding neighborhoods. Many of the smaller neighborhood commercial buildings have found new life as specialty shops: music store, interior design, fly-fishing, barbershop, etc. Recently several restaurants have been established in historic buildings. But through the numerous changes general land use patterns have remained the same. For example, the neighborhood store across from the high school was replaced by a 7-11 in 1976, and Fire Station No. 5 is still on 900 South, but in a modern building.
Moreover the tradition of strong institutions in the Bennion-Douglas neighborhood never faltered. The Roosevelt Junior High building is currently a private school. Two former LDS chapels are being used by other denominations. East High School has been rebuilt and its athletic grounds expanded. Both the Unitarian Church and the Sarah Daft home have expanded their facilities in the recent past. The Douglas School waits hopefully for a new owner and a new use. The LDS Church recently completed a three million dollar restoration of the historic Tenth Ward buildings. Generally speaking, home maintenance and ownership appears to be going up, and recently the city has allowed only a small number of large apartment complexes to be built in the district. The neighborhood is part of an urban renaissance that is occurring in many parts of the city, primarily the result of older homes being renovated by young families.
The Bennion-Douglas neighborhood never really lost its sense of community. In a January 1964 Salt Lake Tribune article, the pastor of the First Christian Reformed Church was interviewed about the congregation's plan to replace its sixty-five year-old building (the former Liberty Park Methodist at 800 East and 900 South). Reverend Clarence Van Slooten is quoted as saying, "We know the city's center of population is moving farther south each year but we feel that we have a responsibility to remain where we are." The sentiment captures spirit of the neighborhood. The new church was built and continues to be used by the congregation today.
Each resident of the Bennion-Douglas neighborhood left a piece of themselves in the community. Their community leaders left a tradition of vigorous institutions. The builders and architects, developers and artisans, left a rich architectural legacy in their buildings. Stonemason and contractor Thomas B. Child (1888-1963) left his heart and soul. During his retirement years, between 1948 and 1963, Child crafted Gilgal, a sculpture garden behind his home on 800 East and 500 South. The fourteen sculptural arrangements were his personal monuments to his profession and his faith. Recently acquired by Salt Lake City, the garden is being rehabilitated for use as a public space, and will be a lasting tribute to Thomas Child and his neighbors in the historic Bennion-Douglas neighborhood.
The names Bennion and Douglas refer to elementary school buildings in the area, and are also used by the two community councils that have jurisdiction over the neighborhood. The Bennion council serves the western half of the boundary increase and the Douglas council serves the eastern half.
Although this would add up to approximately 275 acres, because of the wide streets in Salt Lake City, the acreage amount is closer to 390 acres according to the USGS map and the National Register Acreage Estimator.
Edward W. Tullidge, The History of Salt Lake City and Its Founders, (Salt Lake City, Utah: Edward W. Tullidge, Publisher and Proprietor, 1880), 47. This concept was in turn based on the "City of Zion" plat originated by LDS Church founder Joseph Smith for laying out the city of Nauvoo, Illinois.
An old plat map of the area shows full blocks at the eastern edge, which included part of the cemetery grounds, but only the west half was developed.
Reps, John W. Cities of the American West: A History of Frontier Urban Planning, (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1979), 290.
At the turn of the century the district included four additional courts that were obliterated by later development.
Historically there were few traffic lights in the district. They have been gradually added as traffic has increased. The traffic lights on 800 East and 1100 East were added only in the past couple of years.
The date indicates the time period for the majority of residences in the court. One half of Hawthorne Court and three other courts (Simons Court, Sherlock Avenue, and Caroline Avenue) were demolished by expanding development beginning in the 1970s.
Federal Housing Administration, Principles of Planning Small Houses, Technical Bulletin No. 4, Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1936.
The word duplex as used in the nomination refers primarily to the one-story, semi-detached buildings known historically as double houses. Carter and Goss classify the three types as A, B & C respectively. See Carter and Goss, 74-79. It appears the majority of these duplexes were owned as a unit on a single parcel of land.
An individual listing on the National Register for the Sarah Daft home is pending.
Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Tales of a Triumphant People: A History of Salt Lake County, Utah, 1847-1900, (Compiled and published by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers of Salt Lake County, Salt Lake City, Utah: Stevens & Wallis Press, 1947), 1-2 & 28. A ward (parish or congregation) is the smallest ecclesiastical unit of the LDS church.
During the historic period, the numbered streets were known by their ordinal names (e.g. Sixth South or 6th South). Today the ordinal and cardinal numbers are interchangeable (e.g. Sixth, 6th or 600 South). Due to the commercial development of the major transportation corridors of 700 East and 400 South, the eastern and northern blocks of the original Tenth Ward were nominated as part of the Central City and Bryant Neighborhood districts respectively. The Tenth Ward Square is currently Trolley Square.
The east three blocks of the First Ward were included in the Central City Historic District. Only the First Ward blocks north of 900 South are included in this nomination.
A/P Associates Planning and Research, Salt Lake City Architectural/Historical Survey: Central/Southern Area, prepared for the Salt Lake City Planning Division, 1983, 21.
The Mormon Battalion consisted of 543 LDS men who volunteered to serve the US Army during the war with Mexico in 1846. In return, the federal government promised to aid the migrating saints. The Battalion is credited with opening the first wagon road between Utah and Southern California, participating in a number of construction projects, and bringing the craft of adobe-brick making back to the Salt Lake valley where the majority of soldiers eventually migrated. Susan Easton Black, "Mormon Battalion" in Utah History Encyclopedia, Allan Kent Powell, ed., (Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, 1994.)
According to the 2000 Reconnaissance-level survey of the district no dugouts or log structures are extant. Only a handful of adobe houses were identified, though the Sanborn maps and tax records suggest more may be incorporated in later additions and alterations. Sanborn map coverage of the boundary increase begins (partially) in 1898 and almost completely in 1911, and by that time many of the early pioneer homes had already been demolished or altered.
Linda Sillitoe, A History of Salt Lake County, (Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society and the Salt Lake County Commission, 1996), 3.
The block was also used for farming and known as the Tenth Ward farm for a short time.
Charles Hibbard, "Fort Douglas" in Utah History Encyclopedia, 199.
The wing may have been added after John W. Keddington married a second wife, Mary Jane Tall (1857-1931), in 1883. It is not known whether Mary Jane ever lived in the home. By 1900 she had her own residence on South Temple.
Keyser-Cullen House, National Register Nomination, 1997.
Quoted in Kristal Olson, "Mount Olivet Cemetery," TMs, 1981. Available at the Utah State Historic Preservation Office.
An individual listing on the National Register is pending.
The majority of these buildings are extant, but altered. Only those on the north side of the street are included in the district. The Tower Theater is on the south side and is not included in the district.
City directories indicate 1300 East Street was called Edgehill Drive in the 1950s, but the name is no longer in use.
Alexander, Thomas G. and James B. Alien. Mormons & Gentiles: a History of Salt Lake City. Volume V, The Western Urban History Series. Boulder, Colorado: Pruett Publishing Company, 1984.
Alter, J. Cecil. Utah: The Storied Domain. Chicago: American Historical Society, Inc. 1932.
Ames, David L. Context and Guidelines for Evaluating America's Historic Suburbs for the National Register of Historic Places. TMs, draft, September 1998. Photocopy in possession of author.
Anderson, Charles Brooks. The Growth Pattern of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Its Determining Factors. PhD Thesis, New York University, 1945.
Arrington, Leonard J. Great Basin Kingdom: An Economic History of the Latter-Day Saints, 1830-1900. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, reprint 1993.
Carter, Thomas and Peter Goss. Utah's Historic Architecture, 1847-1940: a guide. Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Press, 1988.
Daughters of Utah Pioneers. Kirkham, Francis W., ed., et al. Tales of a Triumphant People: A History of Salt Lake County, Utah, 1847-1900. Compiled and published by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers of Salt Lake County. Salt Lake City, Utah: Stevens & Wallis Press, 1947.
Deseret Evening News and Deseret News.
Federal Housing Administration. Principles of Planning Small Houses, Technical Bulletin No. 4. Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1936.
Giraud, Elizabeth Egleston. Central City Historic District, Bryant Neighborhood Boundary Addition, National Register of Historic Places Nomination. Prepared in 2001. Available at the Utah State Historic Preservation Office.
Haymond, Jay M. "Transportation in Utah." In Utah History Encyclopedia, ed. by Allan Kent Powell. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1994, 565-566.
Linford, Lawrence L. "Establishing and Maintaining Land Ownership Prior to 1869." Utah Historical Quarterly, Vol. 42, no. 2 (Spring 1974).
McCullough, C. W. "Getting Around Town." Beehive History, 8 (1982): 6.
[Miscellaneous Historic Site Forms, Intensive Level Survey Files and Draft National Register Nominations]. Prepared by author et al. Available at the Utah State Historic Preservation Office.
[Photograph collections of the Utah State Historical Society]. On file at the Society's History Information Center.
Polk Directories, Salt Lake City, 1872-2001. Published by R.L. Polk & Co. Available at the Utah State Historical Society and the Marriott Library, University of Utah.
Polk Directory Salt Lake City Street Map, 1904. Published by R.L. Polk & Co. Available at the Utah State Historical Society.
Poll, Richard D, "The Americanization of Utah." Utah Historical Quarterly. Vol. 44, no. 1 (Winter 1970): 76-93.
Reps, John W. Cities of the American West: A History of Frontier Urban Planning. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1979.
[Salt Lake City Architectural Survey Data]. Report generated May 12,2000 by the Utah State Historic Preservation Office. Available at the USHPO.
[Salt Lake City Building Permits]. Available at the Utah State Historical Society.
Salt Lake City West Side Reconnaissance Survey. Conducted by Cooper/Roberts Architects, 1991-1992. Copy available at the Utah State Historic Preservation Office.
[Salt Lake County Tax Cards and Photographs]. Available at the Salt Lake County Archives.
[Salt Lake County Title Abstracts]. Available at the Salt Lake County Recorder's Office.
Salt Lake Tribune.
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for Salt Lake City, 1898, 1911, 1950, 1969, and 1986. Available at the Utah State Historical Society and the Marriott Library, University of Utah.
Sillitoe, Linda. A History of Salt Lake County. Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society and the Salt Lake County Commission, 1996.
Tullidge, Edward W. History of Salt Lake City and its Founders. Salt Lake City, Utah: Edward W. Tullidge, Publisher and Proprietor, 1880.
† Korral Broschinsky, for Salt Lake City Corporation, Salt Lake City East Side Historic District (Boundary Increase), Salt Lake County, Salt Lake City, Utah, nomination document, 2002, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.