The Avenues neighborhood in Salt Lake City has a rich history. One of the oldest in the area, the neighborhood is listed on the National Historic Register of Historic Places and includes some of the original mansions built in the second half of the 1800s as the Mormon pioneers built Utah’s capital city.
Located on a hillside near the city’s Downtown business district, the Avenues was designed with smaller blocks compared to the grid used for the rest of the city because of the archaic challenge of providing water to residents.
The Avenues and Upper Avenues (above 11th Avenue) continued to expand during the early- to mid-1900s, progressively placed higher on the foothills and using a variety of architectural styles. Also known as the Northcrest subdivision, it was affectionately called “Pill Hill” by the locals because it originally provided luxury housing for physicians who needed to live close to nearby hospitals. Medical professionals are still attracted to the area’s close proximity to Salt Lake Regional, LDS Hospital and the Medical Center at the University of Utah. The area has housed some of the most prominent and wealthy members of the community and its affluence continues today.
However, the Avenues went through a period of deterioration. After World War II, people were starting families and lots were sometimes split, apartments replaced some homes, and others were converted into rentals. By the 1960s, the neighborhood had become transitory, according to the website for the Greater Avenues Community Council (GACC).
A Home that has Stood the Test of Time
Such was the fate of the residence at 756 E. Northcrest Drive, a lovely home built in 1955. Built by Whitney and Esther Hansen, the property was a step up from their original starter home. Offering 180-degree mountain and city views on more than a third of an acre, the couple built the spacious house with their eight children in mind. Unfortunately, Whitney passed away suddenly in a car accident seven years later. Esther sold the home to a property management company that likely rented it out for the next 20 years.
No one remembers what the original floor plan was in the home, but elements of its mid-century modern architecture remain, such as its light-brick and rock exterior, flat roof and strong bones. The spacious great room features vaulted ceilings with exposed beams and a spectacular two-story expanse of windows on the south side of the home in the mid-century style.
When George and Kathryn Peters purchased the home in the early 1990s, they pursued a significant remodel with luxury in mind, creating two master bedrooms and two kitchens, one of each for the main and lower levels. They also installed the pool and hot tub. The main-floor kitchen, featuring lots of natural light, was more recently updated using high-quality materials including a Wolf stove, copper range hood, granite countertops, custom cabinetry and travertine floors. The home also features motorized cellular shades and four gas fireplaces. Both the master bedrooms have walk-in closets and luxurious ensuite bathrooms.
A recent owner installed solar panels that provide passive and active solar heating to the home, a large swimming pool and a pergola-covered hot tub. The home’s immaculate back yard also features a tiered deck that is accessible from the lower level entertainment room. An oversized three-car garage was attached at an “L” at the front of the home, providing space for a workbench and toys.
The transitionary experience of the home at 756 E. Northcrest Drive mirrors that of its greater neighborhood. The Avenues has had a period of revival during the last two decades, as organizations like the GACC have worked to increase property values, standardize zoning and provide neighborhood activities, such as 5K runs and pancake breakfasts. The Upper Avenues hillside is completely built up today. The one-of-a-kind views of the valley and accessibility to downtown available at the Northcrest home are exclusive and short in supply.
Come See it For Yourself
756 E. Northcrest Drive (1500 North) is presently on the market for $1,000,000. Come visit the residence on Friday, January 27, from 5-8 p.m. for an evening of entertainment. REALTOR® Molly Jones of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is holding an open house coupled with an art exhibit. Tour this incredible home while viewing the art of four Salt Lake artists. Enjoy architecture, art, the live music of Paul Boruff, fire spinning by Sally Neilson, light refreshment and spirits.
Experience the Work of Great Visual Artists
PAUL BORUFF, an oil painter and musician, enjoys using encaustics for his impressionist landscape paintings, a technique where beeswax is heated, mixed with pigment and applied to the canvas. He is inspired from the grandeur of Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park and the desert lands of his native Arizona. Paul is also a musician and actor and has performed in Utah for decades. He will be performing with his acoustic guitar at the open house.
SALLY NEILSON’s lively visual arts involve splashes of vibrant color and playful subjects such as jungle animals. She is an illustrator, painter and sculptor with a forte in oils, oil pastels, acrylics and mixed media sculpture. Sally is currently illustrating her first children’s book called “Jungle Sleep.” Sally is also an actor, acrobat and fire spinning specialist and has previously engaged in cliff diving, stunt work and trapezing. For more examples of her work, go to www.sallyneilsonart.com.
ANA FLORES-SAHAGÚN is a furniture crafter and full-time REALTOR® with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. Ana rescues objects that she can transform into one-of-a-kind, functional pieces for the home or office. Her furniture reflects her love of modern design combined with industrial and natural elements, and draws upon her visual art training and work as a graphic designer for architects. She is inspired by 20th century international designers and a two-year hiatus studying and working in Mexico.
IVAN LAVON SANDERSON (1920-2003), a university bookstore manager by trade, pursued oil painting and pen and ink illustrations as a hobby. Influenced by Cézanne and Post-Impressionism, he received a bachelor’s degree in art from Brigham Young University. Instead of selling his paintings, he gave them as gifts to family and friends who cherish them. The subjects of his works are influenced by the Wasatch Mountains, San Francisco Bay Area, Southeast Asia (WWII), South Africa and southern Utah.
For more information and additional pictures of 756 E. Northcrest Drive, click here.