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Walker Mansion, Salt Lake City

The historic Walker Mansion has long been one of the architectural jewels of Salt Lake City's prestigious South Temple Street. But when Philip McCarthey purchased the mansion in 1999, it was in need of both cosmetic and structural attention.

The original entryway to the Walker Mansion was altered years ago. Using historic photos as a guide, the renovation team recreated the historic curved entry stairs, planters, and lion head sculptures. The highly decorative roof features had also suffered. The Spanish tile roof had been replaced with bar tile, the beautiful eaves were boxed in, and seven ornamental chimney caps were lost. Great care was taken to expose, repair, and replace historic features to return the roof to its original appearance.

An office addition was roughly attached to the mansion in 1955, damaging the exterior walls of the original mansion. To re-establish the historic exterior and better separate the addition from the original building, the historic walls were repaired, masonry infill was removed from original windows, and a new skylight installed. A terrace was cut into the addition and covered with a steeply pitched roof to create further visual separation on the north side of the mansion.

The interior restoration included using historic photos to replace missing fireplaces and cleaning the spectacular stained glass skylight. Bedrooms and bathrooms on the second floor were modified for office use while maintaining their historic residential character. New offices built in the attic level preserve the original fireplaces.

As one Heritage Award juror put it, the Walker Mansion renovation has" de-seventy-ized" the building and restored much of its historic integrity. The project both insures the long-term preservation of an important building and enhances South Temple's historic streetscape.