Tuesday, June 16, 2009

prairie style in utah

Malcolm A Keyser House 381 East 11th Avenue, Salt Lake City

Did you know that Utah has one of the highest concentrations of Prairie Style buildings outside of the Midwest? Early Utah architects embraced the new designs and executed buildings all over the state. The website, Prairie School Traveler, has compiled an impressive 84 buildings in Utah built in this style. Out of the 39 states and 6 countries listed, Utah places 6th in quantity of prairie-style buildings behind Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, and California. Salt Lake City alone has 47 buildings listed, placing it 7th in the country behind Chicago, Oak Park, Minneapolis/St Paul, San Jose, Milwaukee, and Jacksonville. Not that these numbers really matter, but they help illustrate that there are a great number of these beautiful buildings all within a short drive for us to experience and enjoy.

Has there ever been a Prairie-Style Parade of Buildings for SLC? If not, we definitely should do one.

Caithness Apartments (now Caithness Condominiums) 86 B Street, Salt Lake City

Gustave L Becker House 2408 Van Buren Avenue, Ogden
See here for a 1918 photo of house

I am in process of locating each of these 84 buildings and identifying them on the sidebar map. For easy identification, they are shown with green markers.

# on National Register of Historic Places - 6
# Demolished - 9

Known Prairie-style Architects with buildings in Utah:
-Shreve & Madsen
-Pope & Burton
-Ware & Treganza
-Fred W. Hodgson
-Leslie Hodgson
-Eber Piers
-Miles Miller
-Taylor Woolley
-Cannon & Fetzer
-Scott & Welch
-Monson & Price
-Olaf Nielsen?
-J.C. Craig
-Avery Timms

*Photographs above from The Prairie School Traveler, courtesy of Butch Kmet.


  1. This is great. I'm particularly fond of the Prairie Style and think it can give beautiful and fitting style to straw bale construction. I'll have to check out some of the Utah iterations next time I come home to visit. Thanks for compiling this info.

  2. what a fabulous blog! I've lived in Utah less than a year and have been surprised at how much good design there is in SLC and Utah. I have tried to convince some European friends that they should visit me partly just to see the architecture here. They are skeptical. But your blog might help me convince them.

    Also, I spent a long time in both Iowa and PA, and managed to visit places like the Oak Park neighborhood in Chicago, Taliesin in Wisconsin and the Darwin D. Martin complex in Buffalo. I've become very fond of the Prairie Style and am struck by how much of it there is here. I love the house in Odgen you mention--it's a gem.

  3. Will - now you've got me curious to see if anyone here in Utah is building with straw bales - it seems like this would be an ideal location for it.

    Holly - thanks for stopping by. I too have been pleasantly surprised at the quality of design here. Like everywhere, it takes some work to find some of it, though. I'm envious of your midwest visits to Chicago and Oak Park - they are still on my list of places to explore.

  4. Thanks for a great blog and for your kind mention of the Prairie School Traveler!

  5. No problem John - thanks for stopping by. Your website is a fabulous resource for all of us.

  6. I thought the Donald Stromquist house in Bountiful Canyon was the same style, but perhaps not. If anyone needs photos of it,I have several as I took care of Donald for 14 months before he passed on. The wonderful house was so far up on the hill, that we used golf carts to transport friends and framily to see him for the last time. Beau Chaine': beau-chaine@comcast.net

  7. Actually the Keyser House 381 11th Avenue was a good example of Prairie... There was a Landmark case when Michael Kearns owned the house showing that most of the Integrity was lost. Snow, who owned the house for about 40 years changed it beyond recognition... over and over Only in Utah would they keep it a Landmark. This was a case of the city just keeping Inventory. Very supsicious case.

  8. Another Avenues LoverOctober 20, 2010 at 9:51 PM

    I wouldn't say "beyond recognition," Mr. Kearns. A lot of the incompatible alterations at the Keyser House, both inside and out, have been removed by the next owner and the home has been restored much as it was when constructed. That owner also received a tax credit to complete the work.

  9. beyond recognition... the original was classic ansonian... but the additions most definately 'bastardized' the orgiginal 'integrity'of the intended architecture... at least according to the leading authority of 'prairie style' in the country...

  10. I believe the house at 166 Q Street was built by Avery Timms in 1918. Do you have any information about it?