Thursday, May 10, 2012

Silver Row!

Who would have thought there were row houses in Provo?  And these are very early and very adorable row houses!  Called "Silver Row."

This little row of homes is located in the 600W block of 100N in Provo.  

An early photo of the row houses

The List of Landmark Register for Provo describes them:

"These apartments, built about 1890, are an excellent example of early multi-family housing in Utah.  Such row houses, or tenements, were prevalent in the state's larger cities during the nineteenth century and are representative of the lower-income residential architecture of the time.  The original owner, David P. Felt, was a publisher and printer who was born in Salt Lake City in 1860.  After marrying Nora Civish, Felt located briefly to Provo where he had these row apartments built.  In 1893, Felt sold the building to Samuel S. Jones and Henry J. Maiben, two prominent local businessmen.  Maiben lived with his family in one of the dwellings until his death, and his wife and children remained there until the early twenties.  Maiben owned and operated the Maiben Glass and Paint Company and served on the city council in 1888.  All owners of Silver Row since the Maibens have held the property for rental purposes only."

The brickwork and woodwork still have that charm associated with turn-of-the-century architecture.  Notice the carving and curves!  And nice little windows above the doors.  And long skinny ones to either side.  Just charming!

Looking closely, you can see an imprinted inlay in the brick. This one says, "Silver Cottage 3."  The birds probably need to be chased away from this gable and the woodwork fixed.

But I think it is amazing these row houses still stand!  And are still happy little rental "cottages!"  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Grandest Clinker of Them All!

The Knight-Mangum House:

If you've ever driven down East Center Street in Provo, this house will undoubtedly have jumped out at you!  It is one of the grandest homes in Provo.

Here's what the Provo City Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places have to say about it:

"Built in the old English style, this house was completed in 1908 at a cost of $40,000. Designed by Walter E. Ware and Alberto O. Treganza, two of Utah's most prominent architects, the house stands out as an anomaly among Provo's turn-of-the-century Victorian mansions.  Natural materials, wood rafters, and clinker brick are used to embellish the home rather than the application of high style ornament.  Note how the colors used match the bark on the stately sycamore trees which surround the house.  It is the most sophisticated product of the Arts and Crafts movement in Provo and reveals a significant rejection of the styles visible on other mansions.  The mansion was eventually renovated for office use and is now used as an apartment building."

There are indeed stately sycamore trees surrounding it!

And boy did they make use of clinker brick on this house!

Check out the chimney!  Giant protrusions of clinker brick are seen.  And the top of the chimney looks like it might just fall down at any moment.

The front porch is even better!  It almost looks like aliens have taken over and are climbing out of possessed brick and going to take over the world!

Further up the house, the Tudor woodwork and detailing are simply regal!  (Notice the house is 3 stories high!)

The whole estate is surrounded by a clinker brick retaining wall, which unfortunately, has not fared as well as the house.  I imagine clinker brick, with its raw edges and exploded shapes, when exposed to water seepage and curious passerby doesn't always hold up.  But the feel of the wall is still intact.  I found pieces of the brick just lying on the sidewalk and I carefully placed them back into the wall.  This estate is too great of an architectural treasure to let crumble away.

What a beautiful house!

P.S.  Here's the lowdown from the county records and an old picture:

Value:  $809,100.  6478 sq. ft.  9 bedrooms.  9 baths. Multiple residences now.  Wow!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

What a CLINKER!!!

I learned a new word this week.  "Clinker!"  Well, I learned a new definition for it.  Related to the definition I already knew.  "Clinker bricks" are the ones that messed up at the brick factory.  The ones that exploded.  Or stuck together.  Or otherwise came out totally misshapen.  And in the craftsman era of building bungalows, they were all the rage!  This site describes the era and the use of these bricks wonderfully!  Gone was the perfection of the Victorian age. And welcomed was the organic feel of "clinker bricks" and other natural elements.  Also fun is to simply do a Google image search of "clinker bricks."  SO silly!  SO fun!

This lovely restored bungalow in the 200 S. block of 200 E. in Provo, is a wonderful example.  Not a straight smooth rectangle can be found!

Just look at all the funny shapes!  Bricks are laid helter-skelter. Puffy protrusions coming out like volcanic eruptions all over.  And the shapes undefinable!  How would you like to have been the bricklayer in charge of making sure everything ended up level!?

Look at these asymmetrical window panes peeking out of the roof of the house!  Long on the bottom.  Short on top!  

Mix the crazy brick with some terribly uneven shingle siding and what do you get?  

A perfect example of a craftsman era bungalow!  Way to go homeowners of this one!  And what a beautiful and warm restoration!!!

P. S.  Here are some old photos from the Utah County land records online.  Built in 1920, this house is listed as having 2392 sq. ft.  5 bedrooms.  2 baths.  And supposedly the market value is only $165,000.  I want one!

Parcel Photo

Look!  The siding used to be painted.  Two-tone.

Parcel Photo

And even in 2003, it was overgrown with bushes and still painted.  I LOVE what the new owners have done!  Don't you?

Monday, April 30, 2012

Brown Bungalow!

This lovely brown bungalow is located on 820 N. in Provo.  It stands out from the other smaller houses around it and I don't know if it is a remodel or a completely new home.  (There are seemingly NO county records for this address!) See end of post for new information!

The shingled exterior is rustic and lovely in it rich brown stain.

Instead of a traditional lawn, this house is surrounded by lovely gardens.  The plants are just starting to come out for the spring, but in the summer, this yard is stunning!

There is detail work above the windows and on the various trim.  It give the house a warm, craftsman feel.

But what REALLY sets this house apart is the chimney.  It is a nice heavy shape and has an earthy feel to the battered brick.  But look closer.  There is a message inlaid in the brick.  Something so important that the owners want the world to know it.  Profound words of wisdom.....

What do you think?  Would you inlay a message like this into the side of your house?  

(All I could think of was the report a few years back that said more women in Utah were on anti-depressants than in any other state in the union....."cheerful 'til it kills you", I'm sure!  If I were to inlay a message in my house, it would say,  "Feel 'til you Heal."  And forget the forced cheerfulness.  But that is just me.)

P.S.  Using a slightly different address than is on the front door, I found out more information for this home.  Maybe it is divided into two residences and the original number is for the back door.  I'm not sure.  But this is how it used to look:

Parcel Photo

Just like all of its neighbors!  A cute little box.  In 2003, they remade the whole house into what it is today. 2646 sq ft. 3 bedrooms. 2.5 baths.  And a whole different look!

Parcel Photo

Pretty amazing transformation!  Good job "cheerful" owners!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Church House

I call this house "The Church House."  It looks like it should have a steeple on top and a parking lot to the side.  And maybe those front windows should be stained glass.

But this is not a church house.  It is a private home.  A very durable-looking private home.  Industrial.  But not in a pleasing way.  At least not to me.

I do like its asymmetry.  And I'm a sucker for any hanging globe light.  What do you think?  Would you live here?  Does this architecture speak to your home heart?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Charming Blue Victorian

In the 100 E block of 200 N in Provo, you can find this charming old Victorian. It is in need of a little sprucing up, but the details on this house are impressive!

Three soaring chimneys rise high above the roof.  One is so particularly high, it has a cable attached for safe keeping.  

And look at the detailing in the trim work!  Gingerbread siding.  Very unique gable boards.  You can't see very well in this photo, but the space above this top window bows outward in a sort of curved overhang above the window.  

Even the brickwork has detailing.  

Check out the leaded glass work above the windows!

So charming with lace curtains in the window and nice plantings all around the foundation.

And stone lintels above every window.

I'm not sure what is on the tip of the roof.  Maybe some sort of lightning protection?

And the front porch is just DIVINE!

As I was leaving, I noticed a matching play house in the backyard! Could anything get sweeter?

Wowsers! Jack-in-the-Box!

When I saw this peeking from around a tree, I just about leapt out of my car!  A square box!

Look at how nice this boxy house looks with the soft natural trees and lilacs around it.  I couldn't tell if it was a new remodel or if it had originally been a square box of a home.  The siding looked brand new.  The owners were putting in a new retaining wall and had a beautiful garden started.

Another angle.  How lovely!  Way to go "Squaresters!"  (You can find this home in the 1200 block of Apple Ave., Provo.)

P.S. Found some old photos in government records.  It used to be a BLUE box!  Built in 1959. 1390 sq ft.  Plus more in the basement.  5 bedrooms.  2.75 baths.

Parcel Photo

And the oldest photo:

Parcel Photo

(I think they did a GREAT job on the remodel.  I love the new siding and neutral color.  Updated, but still true to the original architecture!)