John Platts came to Salt Lake from England in 1854. Church records show that he was a member of the local ward, #19 of the LDS Church in 1855. According to family tradition, he chose this site as the best available for a peach orchard to surround his house built in 1858. He did not receive title to the land until 1874, however, the first year in which the city directory locates him at this or any site. At this time he was employed as a stone mason as were several of his sons. His widow, Emily, and several sons lived in the house after his death about 1890.
The John Platts home is an early vernacular Utah dwelling. The structure evolved from a rectangular plan of hall and parlor or central hall configuration to an ell plan with several extensions. Reminiscent of Georgian/Federal styles in its symmetry the oldest part of the home is two full stories in height. Fieldstone with dressed sandstone quoins comprises the first story of this portion, while the upper story is brick. A chimney is located at each adobe end.
The main rear extension is also brick. A side/rear entrance has a shed roof porch roof supported by square posts with decorative molding. Windows are a two over two, double hung sash type.
This home is an early example of substantial domestic architecture in Utah.
Though unpretentious, it nevertheless must have been impressive compared to many contemporary dwellings of the period. The home exhibits a transition in architectural thinking. The early Federal style organization was updated to a later, modified temple design by the extension with side/rear entrance and porch.
John Platts House is one of the earliest pioneer homes in the Salt Lake Valley still standing today. The house was constructed in the vernacular style, quite common among pioneer homes. John Platts was his own architect and builder. The home was originally a single story, “I”-form pioneer home, built of common fieldstone. The original interior was composed of two large rooms. The windows are a simple rectangular shape
and the doors and windows have plain lintels made from wood. A second story was added to the house after 1860, when Utah red brick was first fired at Bingham Brick Works. About the same time a second story addition was built, a clapboard attachment was added in the rear of the house. The medium pitched roof, which was originally wooden shingle, was later covered with, asphalt shingle.
The John Platts House was added to the National Register of Historic Places (#72001259) on August 25, 1972.
This home is a good example of a pioneer home and is located in one of Utah’s most historic areas (Just three blocks from the famed Mormon
Temple Square) The Capitol Hill Awareness Team has received preliminary
approval from Model Cities for funds to plan the area, (which includes the
Platts Home) as an historic district. The area already has two National
Landmarks, four National Register Places, and five State Register Sites.
Mr. Platts came to the valley from England in 1854. He (according to
family tradition) chose this site as the best peach-growing area available
at the time, It is said he paid his tithing in prize peaches from the orchard
which surrounded the present home. The date of construction was c. 1858.
Church records show he was a member of the 19th Ward, L.D.S. Church in that area in 1855.