2825 West Lehman Avenue in West Valley, Utah
Harlan and Marie Nelson House
Built in 1963.
The Nelson House sticks out to anyone who has crossed its path over the past 58 years. Built from cream brick, plywood, glass and steel, it literally sticks out.
“The style is strictly International Style with distinctive features, such as an irregularly-shaped hexagonal roof with prominent roof steel members, walls of glass, an open floor plan in the gathering spaces around a central hearth and a sunken den on the garden level,” historians wrote. “More than the California ranch or other common house styles of the period, popularity of the International Style was inherent on unique clients as they were particularly suited for unique lifestyles.”
Harlan Nelson was one of IBM’s top salesmen during the rise of computers in the 1950s. His work took him and his family to Salt Lake City in 1956. A few years later, they hired Utah-based architect Eduard Dreier to design their dream home.
Historians noted that Dreier was “a prolific residential architect with a relatively short career,” and the Nelson home is unique among Dreier’s work. He was one of a few Utah-based architects that dabbled in the International Style at this time.
It remained with the Nelsons up until Marie Nelson’s death in 2018. It’s still a private residence to this day.
Y. Martin & Hannah Anderson House
The Y. Martin and Hannah Anderson house, built c. 1910, is a modest example of the Victorian form described as a central block with projecting bays. The Victorian Eclectic detailing was quite common for the era. The house is significant for its association with Sandy’s historical development.
Martin, Hannah, and their daughter Ruth moved to Sandy from Raymond, Canada. Mart, as he was called, found work at the United States Smelting and Refining Company in Midvale, but he wanted to own and operate a butcher shop. In 1911 he opened his own meat and grocery business on the ground floor of the Sandy Opera House. In 1950 Mart sold the house to his daughter Vera Anderson Squires. In 1952 Vera sold the house to Telesphare and Maxine Charlier.
David McDonald House
The significance of the McDonald House lies in typifying the values of a middle-class newly emerged from the struggles to establish themselves in pioneer society. The simple dignity of the McDonald House suggests the residence of a hard working, upwardly mobile, skilled tradesman. The very plain house has few stylistically distinguishing details, and the central hall plan is a vestige of earlier vernacular house types. located away from the center of Salt Lake City, it documents the scattered pattern of settlement in the outlaying areas of the Salt Lake Valley. Although the Mormon Church dominated settlement patterns in Utah, the opening of a federal land office in 1869 brought the scattered homestead pattern to the state. The McDonald House exists today in the midst of later twentieth century development, an important remnant of early domestic architecture outside the immediate Salt Lake City area. The house has been carefully restored.
The David McDonald House is located at 4659 South Highland Drive in Holladay, Utah and was added to the National Historic Register (#80003927) on May 29, 1980. The text on this page is from the National Register nomination form unless otherwise noted.
The architect-builders were the owners, David and Arabella McDonald, who lived in the building until their death in 1924. Both were immigrants to Utah in 1869, he from Scotland and she from Northern Ireland, and both were 41 when the home that was the measure of their success in America was constructed.
David McDonald had been educated in Scotland, and served five years of apprenticeship as a blacksmith and millwright. It was not until he was settled in Utah that he met his wife Arabella Anderson, whom he married in the Salt Lake Endowment House in 1874. David and Arabella remained supportive of the Mormon Church and its various programs, although his ambivalence about the Church was cause for comment. His membership in the largely Gentile Liberal party, and the broad and catholic selection of titles in his much-loved library suggest his distance from the mainstream of Mormon thought and practice. The McDonald blacksmithing business, located eventually only 50 feet from the McDonald home, prospered over the years. His increasing stature in the business community led to McDonald’s increasing involvement in politics. With the introduction of national political parties into Utah, he quickly became established as an active Republican.
At the death of both parents in 1924, the home passed into the hands of other members of the family and eventually was converted into a rental property in 1966. The home is now the headquarters of a professional design firm.
The plaque on the building says:
The two-story Victorian house was constructed in 1890 or brick and adobe manufactured on the site. It was built by David and Arabella McDonald, immigrants to Utah from Scotland and Northern Ireland in 1869. In 1977 the house was renovated for use as office for Kent S. Topham.
This house is one of the oldest homes still standing in Salt Lake County and is now threatened by demolition (petition link below).
This is the home of Alwilda Nancy Andrus Brinton and her husband Franklin Dilworth Brinton. The house was built about 1879 (accounts vary), likely a precursor to Alwilda’s marriage to Franklin. Both were 22 years old and both were children of very large polygamous families who were among the first to settle Holladay… Alwilda was the daughter of Milo Andrus and Franklin was the son of David Britton.
The home was built of adobe and finished on the exterior with brick. Square nails, likely made in the Brinton’s family blacksmith shop (now the State Liquor Store) were used in building the house. Many of those are still visible.
When the house was sold out of the Brinton family in 1957, it did not have plumbing, heating, or running water- except for a hand pump in the kitchen that drew water from a natural spring on the south side of the house. Several features of the original home remain, the large pine staircase being the most evident.
In Alwilda’s time, this house was full of music and family. Alwilda’s mother, Ann Andrus Brooks, moved into the house in the 1890s; she was known as the Piano Lady for insisting on transporting a big walnut piano across the plains. Perhaps Alwilda wasn’t that fond of playing piano because after the death of her mother, she donated the piano to the Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum.
Alwilda was an avid gardener and she grew all kinds of fruit and berries in addition to a flower and a vegetable garden. She dried flowers and herbs in a screened-in porch on the back of the house. Franklin was a farmer and kept some cows and operated a small dairy.
This home is the last remaining piece of Brinton’s Corner. The house sits on a larger size lot so the property is valuable. Preliminary plans have been approved by Holladay City to demolish the home and replace it with 11 townhouses.
Located at 4880 Highland Circle in Holladay, Utah
Burtch W. Jr. and Susan Beall House
The Burtch W. Jr. and Susan Beall House is located at 4644 South Brookwood Circle in Millcreek, Utah and was added to the National Historic Register (#100006366) on April 12, 2021.
The Beall family’s origins in Utah is quite fascinating. Originally from Ohio, Burtch W. Jr. and Susan Beall were heading to San Francisco in 1952 when their car broke down in Salt Lake City, according to a recent obituary. He started work with a local architect as a draftsman and she worked for a phone company to pay for the repair costs; but here’s the funny thing, they never left.
As an architect, Burtch Beall would go on to reshape Utah — and even preserve some of the buildings they came across when they unintentionally moved in. His career work included the Medical Student Housing towers at the University of Utah, the Park City post office, the Trinity Presbyterian Church in Ogden, as well as restorations of other historic buildings, like the Salt Lake City-County Building and the Devereaux House.
“Burtch W. Beall, Jr., was a prolific local architect who designed education buildings and additions, churches, businesses and residences during a career of more than 50 years,” historians noted.
His work also includes the Millcreek home he designed for his family in 1955. Historians noted that it was designed in a Wrightian modern style — a reference to the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
“The foundation is concrete and the gently sloped roof is built-up. The exterior walls are a combination of brick, vertical wood sheathing, and glass. The house features an attached carport and a full-height walk-out basement,” the history report notes.
The Bealls continued to live in the home up until their deaths. She died in 2018 at the age of 91, while he died in 2019 at the age of 93. The building remains a private residence, with new owners.