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George Romney House, Salt Lake City

The George Romney House at 361 East Third Avenue was built in 1889. As you may well expect, the Romney family was prominent in the early history of Salt Lake City and Utah. The Romney appears on the original plat for the Avenues, and throughout his life George Romney bought and sold many houses in the lower Avenues area. The Carlson's project house and the home next door were built as twins. Tunnels were found connecting the two houses. It is believed that George had his wives living in these homes and used the tunnels to discreetly move between the two houses.

The house was built as a single family residence but converted to a duplex in the 1920's. In the 1930's, the house acquired a shed addition on the rear. Prior to restoration, the house was identified not only by its street number but also by a set of kitchen cabinets that rested on the front porch for more than ten years.

The Carlson's project is remarkable for its comprehensive approach to the property including an amazing attention to detail and craftsmanship. Key elements of the project included complete replacement of mechanical and electrical systems; construction of a compatible addition and garage; restoration of the historic windows; restoration of original woodwork on the interior and exterior; reestablishing the original ceiling heights; and the use of reproductions for the five-panel Victorian doors, decorative woodwork, wallpapers, and hardware throughout the house. The Carlsons have even picked plants popular during the late nineteenth century and enclosed them in a custom wood fence characteristic of the period.

What the photographs don't document is that the Carlsons were living in the house and raising a family there while the work was in progress. As a result, the nomination is for the entire family, Ritch, Daisy, and their three children: Landen, Hayden, and Chase.

Utah Heritage Foundation presented Ritchard and Daisy Carlson with a Heritage Award for the rehabilitation of the historic Romney House.