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Utah's Very First Mansion Is a Historic Beauty
June 1, 2021

Utah's Very First Mansion Is a Historic Beauty

by The CE Shop Team

Step Inside One of Salt Lake City’s Stateliest Estates

Have you noticed that imposing red sandstone home just west of Temple Square? This property, which is officially named Devereaux House, is actually a rich piece of Salt Lake City History. A marker of old-time opulence amid the city’s more modern new builds, this home was actually Utah’s very first mansion.

The History of Devereaux House

The History of Devereaux House

Salt Lake City’s Devereaux House was first constructed in 1857 by William C. Staines. Staines then sold the property to William Jennings, a successful businessman and eventual Salt Lake City mayor, who expanded and altered the structure. The property eventually received designation as the state’s very first mansion in 1867. Amid significant changes to the neighborhood and Salt Lake City as a whole after Jennings’ death, the mansion gradually became a less appealing residence. Throughout the years, it housed the Keeley Institute which aimed to solve “Drunkenness, Neurasthenia, or Nervousness, Opium, Cocaine, and all Drug Using, Cigarette, and Tobacco Habits,” and later became home to a construction company. In 1971, Devereaux House was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The state reclaimed the property, and restoration began.

After comprehensive updates, the house reopened in 1984. It had been restored to its former glory, and it was the perfect place to house international dignitaries for the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. The property was then purchased by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2005.

Devereaux House Today

Today, the Church uses Devereaux House as a reception and meeting space. Artifacts from the home’s lengthy history were retained by the Utah Division of State History, and the hope is to create a permanent museum display. While the property itself isn’t open for tours, an exhibition could help share this home’s story with future generations.

Architecture and Real Estate

So, how exactly does this historic home apply to your real estate practice? We promise we’re building up to something! Understanding and appreciating local architecture can help you become a more informed and helpful agent, even if your client isn’t shopping around for a storied mansion. Taking some time to learn about and reflect on different architectural styles can help you steer clients to the right home, whether they’re seeking a Craftsman or a Colonial. 

Plus, in-depth knowledge of your market is critical as an agent. Utah’s real estate market is red-hot, so there’s no better time to grow your knowledge, build on your career, and differentiate yourself from the competition.

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