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A Modest Homestead
Life in Small Adobe Homes in Salt Lake City, 1850–1897
Laurie J. Bryant
Utah / Architectural History
Stories of the ordinary people who helped build Salt Lake City emerge from a study of their often humble adobe houses. Rather than focusing on men and women in positions of power and influence, the emphasis here is on the lives of people who built their sturdy, simple homes from mud.
A Modest Homestead provides architectural descriptions of ninety-four extant adobe houses. They are as basic as the people who built them—small tradesmen and farmers, laborers and domestics. Author Laurie Bryant discusses the neighborhoods in Salt Lake City where adobe houses have survived, often much renovated and disguised, and she showcases the houses not just as they appear today but as they were originally built. Almost all the houses now have additions and improvements, and without some dissection they are not always recognizable, often being both more comfortable and pleasant than might have been the case in the nineteenth century. What emerges through Bryant’s research is an enlarged picture of the roughhewn life of many early Utahns. Includes 120 historic and contemporary photographs.
Laurie J. Bryant is a transplanted Californian and retired paleontologist. After living in Salt Lake City for ten years, she was drawn to the city’s adobe buildings and to the people who built them. She enjoys solving puzzles and took great pleasure in the five years of research for this book.
Table of Contents:
Historic Street Names in Salt Lake City
Introduction and Background
Third and Fourth Wards
Thirteenth and Fourteenth Wards
Appendix: Other Extant Adobe Buildings, Salt Lake City
Praise and Reviews:
“The author is a meticulous and creative researcher. She clearly has left no stone unturned.”
—Martha S. Bradley, professor, College of Architecture, University of Utah
“A substantive and data-rich volume that deserves celebration. The author conveys her passion for the topic, which is as much about the ‘little person’ as it is about their house.”
—Christopher W. Merritt, deputy state historic preservation officer, Utah Division of State History