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Historic Fort Douglas at the University of Utah
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Virtual Tour - Neighborhood #5

Neighborhood #5 on site map
Neighborhood #5

Building 649:  Built to serve as Post Headquarters and band barracks in 1875, this building has received many additions and alterations.  Prior to becoming the Officer’s Club during World War II, this building housed various functions such as the Post Office, the Library, and the Chaplain’s office.  The stone tablet on the east side of the building mentions the Watson Brothers.  James and Joseph Watson, building contractors that worked primarily in stone, supervised the 1870s rebuilding phase; the Army supplied the stone and labor. 
Over the years this building received many unsympathetic additions and alterations.  In 2001 the building’s front facade was restored to its original appearance and a new sympathetic addition replaced incompatible additions made to the rear of the club over the years.  The building is now a multi-use conference center for the University of Utah.

Chapel Glen:  This now dry streambed once contained a branch of Red Butte Creek.  In the 1880s, the creek was diverted and the glen became the roadbed for the Salt Lake City Streetcar line that connected the Post with downtown. 

Building 648:  The Post Chapel was the first building to be finished during the 1884–1886 building phase and was the longest continuously operating military chapel in the United States Army before it was closed in 1991.  In addition to serving as a religious building, the chapel also served as a school for officers’ children and as the post library for a time.  The first chapel at Fort Douglas was a large tent brought from San Francisco by Chaplain John A. Anderson, a Presbyterian minister who accompanied Connor’s troops in 1862. 

The much needed 2001 renovation returned the chapel’s interior to its original configuration as a simple open space that permits many types of religious services by replacing the large 1950s worship platform with a smaller platform that can be made level with the surrounding floor using a lift.  The wood siding was repaired and repainted in an historically appropriate color scheme and the decorative trim was reconstructed using historic photographs.  The chapel now serves as a place of reflection and worship for many denominations in the residential community at the University of Utah.


Building 801:  The University Guest House is used on a short-stay basis by visiting faculty or others connected to the university.  It has various room sizes and types, four meeting rooms, two conference rooms, and one reception room.  It was set back from the street, and as much green space as feasible was preserved around the Chapel so that the Chapel could remain as dominant and visible as possible in its original environment.  Design details reflect those of historic residential buildings at Fort Douglas while not competing with the architectural elements of the Chapel.  For example, bright white trim is used rather than the off-white or crème color of the Chapel, allowing the Chapel to maintain its distinction. 
 The Guest House also blends well with the other historic buildings in the area.  The building footprint, height, and configuration were developed to reduce scale and massing and be respectful of surrounding historic buildings while satisfying programmatic requirements.  With the drop in grade from east to west, the roof height of the Guest House is approximately equal to that of the residences east of Fort Douglas Boulevard.

 

Building 601:  The 1901 designation of Fort Douglas as Regimental Headquarters resulted in the construction of many new buildings in order to accommodate the Post’s population growth.  Built in 1910, this duplex was constructed to serve as housing for officers and their families.

Building 602:  This duplex, similar to Buildings 616 & 617 in Neighborhood #6, was built in 1884 to house officers and their families.  They were constructed using the same basic plan and the same bargeboard trim as those on Officers Circle.  However, these are of frame construction.  Each was originally T-shaped and two stories.  In 1928, a one-story addition was added to the rear of each building.  A newer mudroom flanks the dining room on each side of these duplexes.  In the 1930s, the wooden front porch decks were replaced with concrete by WPA workers.
The turned wood posts that originally supported the porches were replaced with wrought iron in the 1950s.  Some of the original six-over-six double-hung windows have been replaced.  The original novelty siding and the chamfered window trim were covered with aluminum siding sometime between 1962 and 1980.  However, these can still be seen in the mudrooms.  The original scrolled bargeboards have also been covered with aluminum.

Building 603:  This building, similar to Buildings 621–625 in Neighborhood #1, was built in 1931 to house an officer and his family as part of a nationwide Army building program initiated in 1927 to upgrade the living conditions of officers, non-commissioned officers, and enlisted men.  The building program was implemented in the 1930s using funds from the Army, the Works Progress Administration, and the Public Works Administration.  Designed by the Quartermaster General’s Office in Washington, D.C., the standard plans could be modified depending on regional style.  At Fort Douglas, the Colonial Revival style was chosen.

Building 604:  This building, completed in 1876, was built to reflect the status of its occupant and the functions it served.  This building not only housed the commanding officer and his family, it was also used for the formal entertainment of local and visiting dignitaries such as President Rutherford B. Hayes and his wife who visited in September of 1880.  The building’s amenities, size, and style were more elaborate than any other building constructed during the same period.  For example, when it was constructed, this building was the only one on the Post with indoor plumbing.  There were 2 toilets in the rear of the service wing, a bath upstairs directly above the kitchen sink, and a water heater. 
Minor repairs were made after the building caught fire on May 6, 1927.  Extensive remodeling began the following year.  The building was converted into four apartments for officers and their families; the front porch and lattice were replaced with concrete; the service wing was expanded to two-stories; and a two-story sun porch was added to both the north and the south of the building.  The sun porches hide the transition from the sandstone building to the service wing.  The railing and turned wood posts that originally supported the porches were replaced with wrought iron in the 1950s.

Building 605:  The 1901 designation of Fort Douglas as Regimental Headquarters resulted in the construction of many new buildings in order to accommodate the Post’s population growth.  This building was constructed in 1904 to serve as Bachelor Officer’s Quarters housing 19 men. The interior was changed to accommodate the Marine Corps Recruiting Service in the 1960s. 
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