This gorgeous bed and breakfast was the historic Woodruff-Riter Mansion, it has rooms to stay in that are made to look like famous parts of Utah like Bryce Canyon, Sundance and Kings Peak.
It was constructed in 1906 for Dr. Edward Day Woodroff, President of the Brown, Terry and Woodruff corporation. The home was inherited by his son-in-law, Brigadier General Franklin Riter, who served as head of branch office, the board of review of the judge advocate general of the army, European theater of operations during World War II. In 1950, the mansion was acquired by Devirl B. Stewart, President of the Stewart Distributing Company, and used as a family residence until 1974. Renovated for offices in 1975 by R.J. Hollberg, Jr.
Edward D. Woodruff, born in Rock Springs, was a Union Pacific medical doctor who had established his practice in Rock Springs, Wyoming. On moving to Salt Lake City, Woodruff abandoned practice as a medical man and instead entered into commerce and was immediately successful in a number of speculative enterprises. He eventually became president of the Brown, Terry, Woodruff Corporation, which owned many commercial enterprises in Utah.
In 1906 he built this mansion at the height of his fortunes, and as befits
an entrepreneur of his eminence, he chose the prestigious firm of Headlund and Wood of Salt Lake City to execute the design in a suitably baronial style. The interior was tiled to resemble an English manor house with the living room handsomely decorated with leather stretching three-quarters of the way up the walls and topped by canvas backed murals on the rest of the walls and ceiling that were painted by the prominent Utah artist William Culmer. The rest of the home was similarly marked by style and craftsmanship of the period.
The house passed into the hands of Woodruff’s daughter, Lesley Day, and
her husband Franklin Riter. Riter, a lawyer, was called into active service during World War II, and as Brigadier General Riter was Head of the European Branch Office of the Judge Advocate General Army. In this role and as chief of the Army Board of Review in Europe, General Riter was deeply involved in the Private Slovik case. General Riter’s papers, on deposit at the archives of the Utah State Historical Society, are a valuable body of information on this case and on many other matters pertaining to legal and
military matters in World War II. The architects’ rendering of the design for the Woodruff-Riter mansion is also part of the Historical Society collections.
Subsequent to the death of the general the house was divided up into apartments and stripped of its elegant decoration. It has now been acquired for use as commercial office space and restoration work is being contemplated.
Description of physical appearance & significant architectural features:
The Woodruff-Riter House is a large 2 1/2 story mansion that sits up on the
hillside above the corner of 200 North and State Street. The home was designed by the well-known local architects Headlund and Wood and shows influence of the Second Renaissance Revival, a style popular at the turn of the century for public buildings and homes of the wealthy.
The massing of the mansion consists of a box-type hip-roofed cube which has projecting south (front), east, and west bays and a rear wing, all with hip roofs slightly lower than that of the main block. Roofs are of tile, painted blue. There are six dormer windows—two on each side, one in front and one in back—as well as three large chimneys that have vertical panels of corbelled brick. On the underside of the wide eaves are square panels with a plaster rosette in each square. There, is a cornice that has dentil and egg-and-dart molding. There is also a band of dentil molding along the edge of the roof.
Walls of the mansion are brick, now painted white. Corbelled quoin-like stone or brick trim with simple egg-and-dart capitals accents the corners of the house. Below the second story windows is a corbelled belt course. The house sits high off the ground on a walk-in basement built of red sandstone blocks.
The front façade facing 200 North Street has a center dormer window and central first floor and basement entries. To the east of the entries is the projecting front bay. A first story porch runs across the front of the house. It has “wrought” iron railings, and wide eaves with panels and rosettes. Its cornice has dentil and egg -and – dart molding, with panels at the corners. The porch roof is supported by square corner pillars that have egg-and-dart capitals. They are supplemented by single doric columns next to the pillars and two pairs of doric columns flanking the main entry. The first story porch rests on a longer basement porch, supported by heavy pillars that extend around the southeast corner of the house. A symmetrical double stair leads from ground level to the main entry on the first floor. Under the stairs is an arched opening leading to the basement door.
The east and west sides of the house have projecting bays near the centers
of their facades. The bay on the east, facing State Street, has a curved bay
window with wood panelling between the second and first stories and rough-faced brick below the first story windows. The west bay is segment al and has corbelled brick panels between the second and first stories. At the rear of the mansion is the original northeast wind with its one-story enclosed porch topped by a wrought iron railing, plus a one-story northwest addition.