Home Demolition on University Ave

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.

This home was located at 855 N. University Ave.

This picture was taken Saturday, July 21, 2012

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.

This image from Google street view shows the home in 2009.

The house that was on this lot will be replaced by apartments.

Demolition will likely be even further along by the time you read this post.

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14 Comments

Filed under building, BYU, construction

14 responses to “Home Demolition on University Ave

  1. What!? This hurts. I think it hurt the worst when you said they are replacing it with apartments. I was hoping you were going to say that it was unlivable or something and would be replaced by something equally as beautiful. I stared at the home every single time I drove by it. I feel pissed.

  2. We looked at renting the basement of another house of the same vintage in the same section of University Avenue. It was practically falling apart due to abuse from renters and apparently shoddy maintenance by the owners. It’s sad that there is so much economic advantage to chopping these classic houses up to make them into poorly-designed apartment buildings.

  3. drew

    Used to live right there, not in the house, but at Foxwood Apts. (in the background of the picture). The noise levels in that area would prohibit any sort of relaxing home atmosphere. That house was too nice for its neighborhood.

    • yeah, it has also occurred to me that if I had kids, I wouldn’t want to raise them in that house b/c I’d constantly be afraid they’d run out onto Univ. Ave. Maybe I’m just paranoid, but it definitely was a challenged property.

  4. this is so upsetting. i looked into renting this exact house and called the landlord twice, who told me he was still deciding if he would keep renting it out to students in the fall. i am bummed. it was beautiful, and it’s a shame that boring apartments will replace this unique and interesting piece of history.

  5. acpeters24

    From what I’ve seen the new apartments are supposed to match the architecture of the English Tudor styled home to the south. The renderings look very promising, but who knows what’ll happen.

  6. Matthew Taylor

    The original proposal called for the razing of the Tudor style home on the adjacent south property as well. Through the rezoning process, it was negotiated to incorporate the Tudor style home into the project as a clubhouse.

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  9. This kind of stuff really upsets me… They should have moved the house to a new location. As impractical, and expensive as that might be. Beautiful home. I drove by this the other day, and could not for the life of me remember what was there before.

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