When Utah soldiers began to come home from World War I, many remembered the kind of architecture they saw in Europe and began designing houses in the English cottage revival and Tudor styles in Salt Lake City's first subdivision.
The Utah Heritage Foundation's 38th annual Historic Homes Tour will feature nine such homes in what's known as the Harvard-Yale neighborhood. Last year's tour drew 1,200 people, the largest in the event's history.
"This neighborhood is our most recent addition to the National Register of Historic Places," said Alison Flanders, public outreach director for the heritage foundation, which is also sponsoring its Preservation Conference on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. "It signifies the first time in Salt Lake City when houses were built in subdivisions."
Before that time, each house was built for a specific individual. In this neighborhood, contractors built a number of homes in the same place and sold them after they were built.
"The area is significant because soldiers who fought in World War I saw these homes," said Flanders. "It is where they got the idea for this architecture."
The homes on the tour were built from 1910 to 1938, with most constructed in the 1920s.
Karen Morgan, whose 1926 home will be part of May 2's tour, said she hopes such events help raise interest in historical places where residents often learn to live with less. She also appreciates the quality of a residence that is more than 90 years old.
"The things that have lasted are amazing," she said. "I love living in a neighborhood with charming old homes. I like thinking about old homes and about the people who used to live here."
The Preservation Conference will feature a free talk by Charles Phoenix, often called the "Kodachrome King," April 30 at 5:30 p.m. at the Salt Lake City Main Library, 210 E. 400 South. Phoenix will click through his Retro Vacation Slide Show Tour of the USA, which feature some shots taken in the Salt Lake area.
Phoenix is a fan of mid-century design and American culture, and is known for his live comedy retro slide shows, school bus field trip tours, and colorful coffee-table books. His talk will reflect his interest in mid-century art, fashion, transportation and architecture.
The conference offers educational sessions for architects, community leaders, contractors and planners who are interested in saving historic places. One of its highlights is the Utah Heritage Awards Luncheon, May 1 at noon at the Fort Douglas Officer's Club, which honors individuals, organizations, businesses and projects throughout the state for preservation excellence.
The 12 award winners this year are: Park City Historical Society and Museum for the old City Hall and Library Buildings and the Park City Museum; Alison and Chris Anderson for the Judge Jacob Johnson House in Spring City; Denise Sobel for the E.O. Wattis Residence in Ogden; Ephraim City for the Ephraim City Carnegie Library; Frank Boyden for the Boyden Block Building in Coalville; the Ogden Weber Chamber of Commerce for the Lime Kiln in Ogden; Robert and Barbara Guy for the Marriner S. Eccles House in Logan; Tracy Aviary for the Chase Mill in Salt Lake City; and the University of Utah for the Commanding Officer's Quarters in Salt Lake City.
Arla Funk will receive the Lucybeth Rampton Lifetime Achievement Award. Funk is a longtime Salt Lake City community leader who has worked to preserve historic areas and neighborhoods. She has worked to downzone areas of Salt Lake City to protect single family homes, helped create the University Historic District, served on the Salt lake City Planning Commission for eight years and is currently a member of the city's Landmarks Commission.
The Utah Heritage Foundation's 38th annual Historic Homes Tour is May 2, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $20. Meet at the Salt Lake Bonneville Stake Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1535 E. Bonneview Dr. (1050 South), Salt Lake City. Some 200 volunteer docents will be stationed throughout the homes to serve as interpreters. During the tour, visitors can walk through a home at their own pace.