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?