When Rob Blackhurst purchased the historic Noall House in 1991, it was virtually uninhabitable. The roof leaked and the plumbing and boiler were beyond repair. Moreover, this Salt Lake City Avenues neighborhood house had been divided into eight apartments many years ago.
Over the last nine years Blackhurst restored the house to its original condition, performing much of the work himself. On the interior, he removed walls added when the house was divided into apartments, replicated missing woodwork, exposed hidden windows, and repaired coved plaster ceilings and historic wood floors.
The exterior of the Noall House also underwent a transformation. Blackhurst removed numerous unsympathetic additions tacked onto the house over the years. In the process, he spent one winter with the back of his house sheathed in Visqueen. His first heating bill that winter was higher than his house payment! He also stripped away layers of paint to the expose the historic brick and sandstone. Where necessary, he had damaged woodwork, brick, and sandstone repaired.
A low-interest loan from Utah Heritage Foundation's Revolving Loan Fund enabled him to completely disassemble the classical two-story front portico and rebuild it to the original design. This remarkable project exemplifies the contribution a dedicated individual homeowner can make to historic preservation.