The Mort Cheesmen House, built in 1912-13, is significant as one of a very limited number of large scale Craftsman houses in Utah, and as an outstanding and unique example of that type. It is one of two monumental and unique Craftsman homes designed by tie successful Salt Lake architectural firm, Ware and Treganza, the other example being the Knight-Mangum house in Provo. Alberto O. Treganza, the principal designer of the firm, had worked for the famous San Diego firm of Hebbard and Gill, and the design of the Cheesman house may reflect the influence of that experience. It is a distinctive example of the Craftsman style because of its single axis orientation, and its unorthodox point of entry. The combination of stucco and cobble rock as building materials, while not unusual, is not common in Utah, especially in large homes. It was more often reserved for use in Craftsman Bungalows.
Located at 2320 East Walker Lane in Holladay, Utah – it was added to the National Register of Historic Places (#82004137) July 23, 1982.
The Morton A. Cheesman House was designed by the architectural firm of Ware and Treganza in 1912 and the house was completed by 1913. Craftsman elements which tie the house together include: a low pitched roof; ornamentation created by the use of natural materials such as exposed rafters and purlins, bands of casement windows, and cobble rock for the base and chimneys; the use of leaded glass in some windows; and the combination of materials, stucco and cobble rock, to create visual interest rather than relying on the application of ornament to serve that purpose. The house was built on eleven acres of property originally owned by Mr. Cheesman’s maternal grandfather, Joseph R. Walker, a famous Salt Lake banker and businessman. The settlement of the Walker estate resulted in Mrs. Mary Ann Walker Cheesman receiving the property.
The house being nominated belonged to Mary Ann’s son, Morton. From evidence of title, it appears that Mary Ann owned the property on which Morton’s house was built until 1916, at which time she deeded the property to him. Mary Ann’s own house was built in 1912 and is located adjacent to her son’s house. Her house was also designed by Ware and Treganza.
In 1921, Cheesman deeded the property back to his mother and in 1925, Mary Ann mortgaged the house for $15,000 to Malcolm A. Keyser, a friend of the Cheesman family. In 1931, Mary deeded the property and house to Mr. Keyser. The reason for the property loss has been blamed on the stock market crash of 1929 as both Morton and his mother lost large amounts of money in the crash. In 1932, the city directory lists Morton as an employee of the Salt Lake City Water Department and residing at 746 East Second South. In the same year, Keyser and his family moved from their home at 6710 Holliday Boulevard to Mary Ann’s former residence. The Morton R. Cheesman house remained vacant. Mr. Keyser deeded the house to his son M. A. Keyser, Jr. in 1940, and in 1945 the house was deeded to George R. McClure and his wife, Helen Keyser. The McClures were the first people to inhabit the house after the Cheesman’s departure and are the current owners.
Norton R. Cheesman was born June 1, 1889 in Salt Lake City, a son of Martin J. and Mary Ann Walker Cheesman. Morton started his business career in 1910 as a treasurer for Walker Brothers Dry Goods and continued in that position most of the time that he lived in this house. He was also president of Cheesman Auto Company and involved in the Campbell-Cheesman Realty Company. He was later employed for the Salt Lake City Water Department. He was married to Vera Edward and later divorced. In 1940, he married Naomi Brinton. He was the father of two children. Cheesman died November 21, 1963, in Salt Lake City.