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!

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