The McCune Mansion is one of the impressive homes on Capitol Hill in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Built in 1900, Elizabeth and Alfred McCune had it built as a replica of a home they saw in New York City.
The 21 room mansion overlooks Temple Square and downtown Salt Lake majestically from a small hill and has materials from many parts of the world.
The McCune Mansion was designed by architect S.C. Dallas for Alfred W. McCune and wife Elizabeth. The McCunes financed a two year tour of the United States and Europe for the architect to study architectural styles and techniques before plans were drawn for the home. Working closely with Mrs. McCune, the home was designed by S.C. Dallas and the construction completed in 1901.
Alfred W. McCune was born July 11, 1849 at Fort William, Dum Dum, Calcutta, India. His father, Major Mathew McCune was an officer in the British Army Division Survey in East London. The McCune family was converted to the Mormon faith in 1851 and in November of 1856 they left India for Utah and arrived in Salt Lake City, September 21, 1857.
Choosing the railroad for business rather than farming, Alfred began taking contracts to build portions of the Utah Southern Railroad in 1870. During the next decade he became one of the largest railroad contractors in the Rocky Mountain area.
In 1880, McCune left railroad building and entered the timber and mining business in Montana. Again he was unusually successful, and after eight years in Montana the McCunes moved to Salt Lake City in 1888. Mr. McCune entered into numerous mining ventures in the United States, Canada, and South America. Locally he purchased the Salt Lake City Streetcar system.
In 1920 they moved to Los Angeles and the home was given to the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It housed the McCune School of Art and Music until 1958 when the Brigham Young University SLC Center moved into the building. The mansion has recently been vacated and a private individual has purchased the former school for use as architectural offices and a showroom for handmade furniture.
The home is one of the most elaborate and beautiful mansions in
the state. The story of Alfred W. McCune, symbolized by the magnificent structure, indicates that the Horatio Alger tradition could be found also among the Mormons of Utah even at a time when the church was emphasizing a somewhat socialistic cooperative movement (1968-
Since 1920, the mansion’s use as a school illustrates the feasibility of and enjoyment from adaptive use.
Baskin-McCune Carriage House
The Alfred W. McCune carriage house was built for Judge R. N. Baskin in connection with his home which was designed by Henry Monheim and built in 1872. The home was built of stone in a Greek cross plan, had a square tower on the roof at the crossing of the ridges, had fifteen rooms, cost $40,000, and was similar in design to homes illustrated in Alexander Jackson Downing ‘s THE ARCHITECTURE OF COUNTY HOUSES. The substantial carriage house was built to the north of Judge Baskin ‘s residence and was retained by the McCune family after razing the Basking home prior to erecting the McCune Mansion. The carriage house has historic associations of its own, having been remodeled in 1926 and used for two years as the Mormon meetinghouse of the Capitol Hill Ward.
Architecturally, the carriage house was patterned after Judge Baskin ‘s
residence and was constructed of the same cut red butte sandstone and featured similar massing. Built on a hillside, the carriage house varies from one story tall on the north to two stories on the south. The roof is gabled, the cornice is moulded and returns, all bays are square. When converted to a church use, a one-story addition was made to the southwest corner of the building and the stone was covered with stucco. It is the intention of the owners of the McCune Mansion to restore the carriage house as well as the mansion which is currently undergoing NFS -ass is ted restoration.