The N.S. Nielson House, built in 1890, represents the economic prosperity enjoyed in Mt. Pleasant due to the successful Intermountain livestock industry. N.S. Nielson, born in Sweden in 1848, was a prominent local sheep rancher and businessman. The house is an outstanding example of eclectic architectural design in rural Utah.
In my exploring of the Utah and neighboring states I have come across many tithing offices, tithing barns, tithing granaries and more.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the L.D.S. Church or the Mormons) settled a large part of the areas here and members of the church would donate 10% of their increase to the church – they would also barter for what they needed, trade grain for eggs, etc. Now the members of the church donate with money, but at the time when donations were grain, eggs, chickens, cloth and more these buildings were needed to handle all of that. (see other tithing offices on this page)
This is the Pleasant Grove Tithing Office, located at 7 South 300 East in Pleasant Grove, Utah.
Built c. 1908, the Pleasant Grove Tithing Office is historically significant as one of 28 well preserved tithing buildings in Utah that were part of the successful “in kind” tithing system of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon church) between the 1850s and about 1910. Tithing lots, which usually included an office and several auxiliary structures, were facilities for collecting, storing, and distributing the farm products that were donated as tithing by church members in the cash-poor agricultural communities throughout the state. Tithing offices were a vital part of almost every Mormon community, serving as local centers of trade, welfare assistance, and economic activity. They were also important as the basic units of the church-wide tithing network that was centered in Salt Lake City.
The exact date of construction of the Pleasant Grove Tithing Office is not known, but judging from its appearance and other circumstantial evidence it was probably built about 1908. Some of the basic features of this building, its square block shape with a symmetrical facade and an arched central porch, are much like those found on the tithing offices in Manti, Panguitch, Richmond, Sandy, and Hyrum, all of which were built between 1905 and 1910. The design of those buildings was one of at least three standard tithing office plans that were developed at church headquarters around 1905 and sent out to a number of wards in the state that requested to have a new tithing office built. Those plans were perhaps the first examples of what eventually became a policy with the church – developing standard building plans at church headquarters rather than having each ward generate its own. Although the Pleasant Grove Tithing Office has a flat roof and other minor features that distinguish it from the Type No. 3 design, the similarities between the two are sufficiently strong to suggest that they were built at about the same time.
The only other indications of when the tithing office might have been built are contained in letters from the Presiding Bishopric’s Office in Salt Lake City to Bishop Swen L. Swenson of the Pleasant Grove Ward. A letter of April 9, 1908 to Bishop Swenson stated that, “You are authorized to purchase hard wood shade trees and plant them around the [tithing] lot where needed.” The letter also granted approval for the purchase of water rights for the tithing lot. Similar improvements were made to tithing lots in other towns immediately after the completion of their new tithing offices, so it is reasonable to assume that the tithing office in Pleasant Grove was constructed in late 1907 or early 1908. The building was definitely built by at least the spring of 1909 when the local bishops were granted approval to have a telephone installed in the building.
Constructed in 1910, the Cornell Apartments is one of over 180 “urban apartments” built in Salt Lake City during the first three decades of the twentieth century, a period of unprecedented expansion and urbanization. Over 60 percent of those buildings are either listed or eligible for listing in the National Register. Urban apartments are significant under Criterion C as a distinct and important type of residential building in the city. Apartments are remarkably consistent with one another in terms of building plan, height, roof type, materials, and stylistic features. These and other characteristics mark them as a new and distinct type of early twentieth century residential building. Under Criterion A, urban apartments are significant for their association with the rapid urbanization of Salt Lake City during the 1890s-1930 period. The growth that took place during those decades spurred the construction of two opposing types of housing in the city: urban apartments and suburban homes. Suburban homes represent a rejection of urban conditions. Apartments, on the other hand, document the accommodation of builders and residents to the realities of crowded living conditions and high land values. They were a significant new housing option that emerged in response to the growth that transformed Salt Lake City into an urban center during the early twentieth century.
Constructed in 1910, the Cornell Apartments are a three-story brick building with a parapet roof, brick foundation, and modest Neo-Classical Revival/Colonial Revival styling. Ho significant alterations have been made to the building. The Cornell is a variant of the “walk-up” type apartment building. The basic walk-up contains six units, is three stories in height, one apartment deep and two units in width across the facade. It has a central entrance/stairway with two apartments opening off each landing. That basic plan is doubled on the Cornell; in essence the building is two walk-up apartments with a common side wall. Thus, the building is a narrow rectangular building with its broad side facing the principal street. The facade is symmetrical except for the northernmost section, where there are no windows on either side of the porches- -the lot was simply too small to accommodate those two bays on the facade. Instead, the apartments there protrude to the rear in order to provide living space of comparable size with the other units in the building. There are projecting, three-story front porches with classical columns and pedimented roof. On the rear there are frame service porches connected by open walkways and stairs. Some of the windows in the service porches have been covered with plywood, but they are essentially unaltered.
The building permit for the Cornell Apartments was issued on July 15, 1910, to W.C.A. Vissing, one of the most active developers of apartment buildings in Salt Lake City during the pre-World War I period. The estimated cost of the 13-unit building was $25,000.
Vissing acquired this property in January 1910 from the Loraine Investment
Company in exchange for the Arlington Apartments, located at 415 First Avenue.
As part of that deal he also obtained property at the corner of 800 East and 100 South where he built the Bernice Apartments in 1912.1 The Bernice and Cornell apartments are almost identical, though the Bernice has been altered in recent years.
Visaing owned this building for only a short time, selling it 1912 to Blanche Castleman for $32,000. The building changed hands four times over the ensuing decade before being purchased by Jacob Bergerman in 1923. It remained in the Bergerman family through at least 1934.
W.C.A. “Andy” Vissing constructed at least 20 major apartment buildings in Salt Lake City during his career. Born in Denmark in 1874, he emigrated to the U.S. and Salt Lake City at the age of fourteen. He started in the construction business as a young man and continued until his death in 1936. He is credited as “one of the first local apartment house builders.” He constructed some of the largest apartments in the city, including the Hillcrest, Buckingham, Fairmont and Commander apartments. The first apartments he is known to have constructed were the LaFrance Apartments in 1905. That was also the first of several apartment projects in which he was involved with Covey Investment Company, another major developer and owner of apartments in Salt Lake City. Vissing was primarily a contractor, not an apartment manager, so he usually sold his apartment buildings soon after completing them in order to finance the construction of new apartments.
The Stairs Project was built in 1894-96 as the first hydroelectric power plant to provide electricity to Salt Lake City. It was also one of the first plants in Utah to transmit power long distance, using alternating current rather than direct current. In addition to the powerhouse, other elements of the historic complex include the dam, conduit, and penstock—all critical components of a hydroelectric plant. The power plant is ideally located to take advantage of the Stairs cascade on Big Cottonwood Creek.
During the late nineteenth century, a combination of technological developments, capitalist enterprise, and economic demands led to the creation of Utah’s hydroelectric power industry. Small utility companies around the state built water power plants to generate electricity, mostly for streetcar systems, mines, and other industries. Cities and small towns also consumed power for municipal, commercial, and domestic use. By the early twentieth century, a merger and consolidation movement among Utah’s utilities culminated in the formation of the Utah Power & Light Company (UP&L). In 1989, UP&L merged with PacifiCorp, an Oregon corporation, which continues to operate the Stairs Project.
Located at 191 North Main St in Manti, Utah this is one of the oldest remaining city hall buildings in the state of Utah.
Designed by A.E. Merriam this building was constructed between 1873-1882. It is an excellent example of the Italianate style rarely found outside Salt Lake City. Fine Italianate details such as box-like massing, low-pitched hipped roof, columned portico and decorative bracketed eaves make it the only surviving example of the style in public structure in Sanpete County.
The plan has four equal size rooms on each floor, with a central passageway staircase. Under the stucco lies finely tooled limestone. It is hoped that the exterior will one day be restored to its historic appearance. The construction costs total about $1,100.
The building is now used as a Manti Museum, Social Hall, and office of Sanpete County Economic Development & Travel and Tourism and houses a visitor’s information center.
The Best-Cannon house is an excellent example of a Queen Anne Victorian cottage in Salt Lake City. It was designed by the firm of Monheim, Bird and Proudfoot, architects for the Salt Lake City and County Building, and built in 1893 by W.A. Wright for Elliot M.S. Best and his family. Best, an agent for the Morse Coe Shoe Company, built the west addition in 1897 for a cost of $85 as a dance studio for his daughter. The Bests lived here until 1906 when Angus M. Cannon, Jr., and his wife, Kate Lynch, bought the house.
Built in 1909, this imposing 31-unit apartment building, notable for its construction of rusticated and decorative ashlar concrete block, is the only remaining example of its type in Salt Lake City. All of the apartments have built-in Murphy beds, oak built-in cabinets typical of Mission style, and hardwood trim. The 1995 restoration of the building into an apartment condominium community has left many of these original interior features intact.
These apartments were constructed by John M. Wilfrey who lived in Salt Lake City between 1903-10. He developed several real estate projects in the city during that time, including the Wilfrey Apartments (now demolished). The Hollywood apartments are significant in representing an important housing option that emerged in response to Salt Lake City’s rapid urbanization between 1890 and the 1930s.
Located at 234 East 100 South in Salt Lake City, Utah
See other historic apartment building in Salt Lake City here.
Apartments such as this were a new type of residential building that emerged during the early 20th century as Salt Lake City developed into an urban center. Dozens of multi-story brick apartments were constructed in the neighborhoods near downtown. They were attractive investments for property owners and practical, “modern” housing for those who wished to live in the central city rather than in the suburbs. The Lincoln Arms Apartments were constructed in 1924-25 at a cost of $42,000. Original owners were Myrtle and Phillip Bratt. Mr. Bratt, a local contractor, was also the builder.
Located at 242 East 100 South in Salt Lake City, Utah
See other historic apartment building in Salt Lake City here.