The historic Allen Electric Building in Salt Lake City's Avenues neighborhood was derelict and structurally unsound when Cruser Rowland and Sandra Jensen purchased it in 1998. The building had languished for years, it poor structural condition frightening away potential buyers. Rowland and Jensen, however, accepted the challenged of essentially reconstructing the building structure.
Rowland replace rotten floor beams, shored up failing arches, braced the roof, inserted new steel crossbeams to support the second floor, and constructed two interior side walls to enhance the buildings seismic stability. On the building's exterior, the couple used a 1930s tax photo to guide an accurate renovation. They restored the fish scale shingles, vent window, soffit details, a window proportions found in the photo.
Passion in their belief that "mixed-use" buildings contribute to the viability of urban neighborhoods, Jensen and Rowland renovated the lower storefront to house the E Street Gallery and now utilize the upper floor as their residence. The distinctive steel floor, colorful walls, and handcrafted wares visible in the storefront capture the attention of all who pass by. Rowland and Jensen's project not only has given new life to an historic building, but help improve the quality of life in one of Utah's distinctive historic neighborhoods.