Homes in Salt Lake City’s Country Club neighborhood don’t fit the cookie-cutter mold sometimes found in suburbia.
Construction began in the 1920s and continued through the 1980s, creating many architectural styles, from Spanish Colonial and English Tudor to more modern ranch styles, said Kirk Huffaker, executive director of Preservation Utah, formerly the Utah Heritage Foundation.
“The homes in this area offer a wide variety of design and scale,” he said, “as they were built over several decades and reflect the wealth that moved to the area.”
Preservation Utah will celebrate the eclectic mix during its 47th annual Historic Home Tour on Saturday, April 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Those who buy tickets can see the interiors of three homes. The tour also includes several points of architectural interest. Advance tickets are $20 at preservationutah.org.
On Saturday, tickets are $25 and can be purchased only at the tour headquarters, the triangular park strip between Oneida Street (2150 East) and Country Club Drive (2300 South).
The Country Club neighborhood, named because of its proximity to the Salt Lake Country Club, encompasses homes from about 2100 East to 2300 East and 2100 South to Parleys Terrace.
Besides a mix of styles, the neighborhood stands out for its large setbacks from the street and open space, said Huffaker.
Several homes were designed by well-known local architects, including Taylor Woolley, who studied under and drafted for Frank Lloyd Wright. Other local architects include George F. Johnson and Ed Dreier.
The neighborhood is one of several upscale Salt Lake City neighborhoods — along with the Avenues, Federal Heights and Harvard-Yale — in transition. Aging residents sell to younger families who want to live close to the city, but want to change the older homes to include modern-day features.
Sometimes those changes are “not preservation friendly,” said Alison Flanders, Preservation Utah’s public outreach coordinator.
While there are “good and bad examples” of upgrades, Flanders said, “we hope to show how great the neighborhood is and that you can still have new things but keep the historic character” of a house and neighborhood.
The updates that Charisse and Andy Theurer have made to their home on Country Club Drive are a good example of what preservation specialists like to see.
The original wood doors, the hardware and the Clear All Heart Redwood Siding — which is now expensive and difficult to find — were refinished rather than replaced.
“We really like the look and the open feel of our home and have gone to great lengths to try to preserve and even enhance it,” said Andy Theurer, who has the home’s original architectural and landscape plans. They will be available to view on the tour.
He said the Prairie-style home, built in 1977, is reminiscent of the homes built by Wright. It even has a hidden front entrance.
“Wright wanted people to walk around the yard and see the architecture,” Theurer said. “Ours is the same way. It’s hard to find the front door; people are always coming in the back.”
Although, during the Historic Home Tour, guides will make sure you find it.