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Sugar House Journal

Historical places for September

Aug 31, 2017 17h20 ● By Jana Klopsch

Richardson-Bower Building.

By Natalie Mollinet | [email protected]

Richardson-Bower Building: Built in 1925, the one-story brick building resides in the heart of Sugar House at 1019 E. 2100 South. The land was purchased in 1925 by three partners, George L. Biesinger (a contractor), John Burt Jr. (a barber), and Junius Keddington (a manager). They joined up and took out a mortgage of $7,500 and hired a contractor named George Bowles who constructed the building. Bowles is also known for constructing the LDS Belvedere Ward on 607 Downington Ave. and another LDS chapel in Hawaii. Richardson-Bower, Inc., a distributor of Dodge Brother motorcars and Graham Brothers Trucks, used the building until 1926 as one of their showrooms. After they left, the building was separated into two business spaces, one of those spaces always remained automotive-related. The two spaces saw different occupants through the years including a shoe repair service called Milt’s Shoe Service, Ashton Auto Company and Ace Auto Supply Co. In 1933, the partners lost the property and Ione M. Overfield purchased it in 1934. The property remains with that family today. 

Even though the building has seen different occupants over the years, it still is one of the few buildings left in Sugar House that still holds the historic integrity it had in 1925. It was put in the National Register of Historic Places because of its reflection of the time before the postwar interstate highway system that exposed Sugar House to inter and intra-state travelers. The business still looks like an old automotive shop but is now occupied by Home Again, a home furnishings store. 

Nephi J. Hansen House: Located at 1797 South and 1400 East, the Nephi J. Hansen house was home to the prominent community leader and businessman in Sugar House. Hansen was known as the father of Sugar House and devoted most of his life to development of the area’s business district. He served two terms in the Utah State Legislature, and initiated at least seven different businesses in the Sugar House area. He teamed up with two brothers, Joseph and Hyrum Jensen and formed the Jensen-Hansen Company, which later became the Pacific Lumber and Building Company. The business failed while he was on his LDS mission, something he didn’t learn of until he arrived home. He later operated a business on 3300 East that became successful and eventually saved enough to open a business in 1903 called the Granite Lumber Company. He spent years trying to have the state prison removed from Sugar House and once he was elected to the legislature, he authored the first bill to have the prison removed, and finally after 20 years it was removed. 

His home was built in 1912, and is one of the first homes built in the Progress Heights subdivision, an area where wealthy and prominent people built their homes. Hansen’s home has more than 3,000 square-feet of floor space and was once named the “Sugar House Mansion.” 

Much of the home has been restored since Hansen lived there, but the exterior remains the same. The home has three chimney stacks, had an added garage built in 1959 and a small green house added later as well. The home is built on sandstone and is constructed of fired red brick.  Their six sons and two daughters lived in the home with them, and when they had all moved out, the Hansens sold the property in 1930.