A beautiful old home on University Ave has been demolished. The first picture below comes from the property’s page on the Utah County website, and the second picture shows what it looked liked over the weekend.
According to county records, the 1,934 square foot home in the pictures above was constructed in 1937. It included four bedrooms and three fire places. In 2004, it was purchased by Terry and Lisa Cirac of Huntington Beach, California.
I was curious about what is going to happen to the property, so I knocked at the house next door and asked. There, I talked to a woman who said she and her husband owned the home and had decided to demolish it and replace it with apartments. She described the development as stirring up “mixed emotions.”
Which is more or less how I feel. If I had a list of my 50 favorite homes in Provo, this one probably would have been included. It was charming, interesting, and unique enough to have some character. Objectively speaking, I’m disappointed to see it replaced by apartments.
But at the same time, I also wouldn’t have wanted to live in the home. It was on the busiest — and noisiest — street in Provo. It also was a student rental for years, meaning that it likely would have needed major repairs before it could have become owner occupied. The result is that demand for single family homes would have needed to increase dramatically — and more than it has — before it would have been economically realistic for this home to avoid becoming student housing. In other words, it’s easy to see how market forces make this sort of thing nearly inevitable.
Still, inevitable and understandable as it may be, it’s an architectural loss for Provo. I just hope the apartments that replace it are better than the generic, mediocre dwellings that characterize that area of the city.