Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Knight Mansion

Continuing on Provo Center street, a little further to the west from the Knight-Mangum Mansion, is the Knight mansion.  This building is located at 185 E Center.  Just to clarify, the house was built by Jesse Knight, although I have found his name also written as Jessie.  He is the father of Jennie Knight Mangum, the owner of the Knight-Mangum Mansion.  Here are a couple of photos of what it looked like in 1906 and what it looks like today:

Photo courtesy of the Utah State Historical Society  

Photo courtesy of the Utah State Historical Society  

Once again, there is a great summary regarding the history of the house on Wikipedia and I am going to quote mostly from the website:

"Perhaps the wealthiest man in Provo at the time, Jesse Knight was born in the year 1845 in Nauvoo, Illinois. Jesse’s family migrated west, and reached Utah in the year 1857. Twelve years later Jesse married a woman by the name of Amanda McEwan, and began a ranch in Payson, Utah. Following an impression that he had, Jesse began a mining operation in the Eureka area and became rich. He subsequently bought other mines, founded a bank, purchased real estate in Provo, bought the Provo Woolen Mills, and started farming and cattle interests in Canada. Throughout all of these efforts Jesse remained an active supporter of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and his mines were called the 'cleanest mining camps in the west (Utah State Historical Society p. 2).' Jesse Knight died in 1921, designating much of his amassed fortune to B.Y.U. and various other institutions."

If you would like to read a really interesting history of Jesse Knight, click here.  Also, regarding his donations to BYU, he funded the Amanda Knight Hall and the Allen Hall .  Both are really cool buildings located near 800 N in Provo.

The house was constructed in 1905 and is built in the Colonial Revival Style , although one place I found said that it is actually neo-Classical.  It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982 and was designated to the Provo City Historic Landmarks Register on June 19, 1996.  Currently it is home to the Berg Mortuary.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Provo Center Street, Part 1 of many...

     The coolest and most historic residential area of Provo is by far Center Street.  There are some really amazing houses in this area, mostly between University Ave and around 700 East.  Over the next couple of posts I want to focus on some of these amazing buildings.

     The first one up for today is the Knight-Mangum House, which is located at 381 E Center Street in Provo.  Probably the best description regarding the history of the house is found directly on Wikipedia and most of this entry will be a direct quote from that site.  First though, here is what the house looked like probably around the time it was built and what it looks like today.  I think that the trees that are in the original picture are the same trees that are found in the current picture.  Also, since it is hard to see the house through all the trees, I added a picture of the house from the front:

Image courtesy of the J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah 

     "The Knight-Mangum Mansion was built in the old English Tudor style, completed in 1908. It was built for Mr. W. Lester Mangum and his wife Jennie Knight Mangum. Mrs. Mangum was the daughter of the famous Utah mining man, Jessie Knight. The lot was purchased for $3,500 and the home was built at a cost of about $40,000. The Mangum family was able to afford the home due to the fact that they had sold their shares in Jessie Knight's mine located in Tintic, Utah, for eight dollars a share. They had purchased the shares for only twenty cents a share, so the excess allowed them enough funds to purchase the home."

     The wikipedia article had a really interesting piece on Jesse Knight: 

     "The successful commercial mining of precious metals and minerals transformed Utah's economy from basically an agrarian base to a more industrialized state. Within this development the Tintic Mining District (I did several posts on this area.  To learn more about it, click here, here , here , here, here, or here) located approximately thirty miles southwest of Provo, was founded in 1869 and by 1899 became the leading mining center in Utah with a value of output placed at five million dollars. A central figure in Tintic success was Jesse Knight and the Knight family who resided in Provo. Jesse Knight attained wealth with his Humbug mine in the mid-1890s. The large silver producer allowed Knight to develop other mines in the East Tintic area. Knightsville grew around the workings and became touted as the only saloon-free, prostitute-free, privately owned mining camp in the U.S. His strict adherence to doctrines of the LDS church made the town one inhabited primarily by Mormons.

     "Jessie Knight was able to expand farther than the Tintic mines, reaching to the power plant in Santaquin, the Tintic drain tunnel project, the Knight Dry farm, and the smelters at Silver City.  The Bonneville Mining company, the Knight Woolen Mills, Ellison Ranching Company, the American-Columbian Corporation, the Springville-Mapleton Sugar Company, the Spring Canyon Coal Company, Utah Savings Bank, the Layton Sugar Company, and the Tintiv Drain Tunnel Company all represent facets of the Knight Investment Company."

     The article concludes with the current state of the house:

     "After the death of Mr. Mangum in 1949, the home was sold to Paul Salisbury of Salt Lake City who divided the home up into eleven individual apartments.  In 1969 Mr. Milo Baughman, one of America's leading furniture designers and present chairman of the Environmental Design Department at BYU, acquired the home.  It is now used primarily for office space.... The Knight-Mangum mansion was designated as a historic landmark of the city of Provo on April 28, 1995."

     I don't know how much of the concluding paragraph is accurate.  I believe that the house is currently being used as apartments, not as an office space (but I think there are only 4 or 6, not 11).  In fact, I have heard that the building is split up really awkward and that it is kind of a weird place to live in.  Ultimately, if it is a weird place to live in, it is at least a pretty cool place to look at.

     I talked to a guy in Provo who mentioned that he wanted to buy the Knight-Mangum house and restore it to how it used to look.  I would totally support that.  It is an awesome house, but without the contrasting white paint that it used to have it looks quite scary.  It is a little too dar with all of the greens, browns and grays in addition to the monstrous trees and bushes that are everywhere.  However, even with its scary presence, it is still one of the coolest houses in Provo.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Duct Tape Version of the University of Utah's Rice-Eccles Stadium

     I wanted to throw out a recent art project that I did for the "Paint the Town Red" project.  Paint the Town Red is a local competition sponsored by the University of Utah and the Salt Lake City Downtown Alliance that tries to get local businesses to decorate their shops in support of the Utah Utes.  I decided that this would be a perfect time to do another tape art project, similar to one that I recently did of the Salt Lake City skyline.  This time I did the Rice-Eccles Stadium where the University of Utah Utes football team plays.  I did the piece of the side of Vosen's Bakery at 249 W 200 S in Salt Lake.  It is a cool shop and if you like local bakeries, go check it out.  Rather than using painter's tape like the Salt Lake City skyline piece, this project was done using only red and white duct tape.

     Hope you enjoy!