Appreciate efforts to preserve pioneer age houses
After many years of no dramatic improvement to Main Street, I want to express my appreciation for the efforts made by our city and Cache Valley Bank to beautify the central part of it and efforts by other businesses elsewhere on Main Street. I think it’s a big step in the right direction. Likewise, the city’s commitment to ridding Main Street of blights is, I think, commendable.
Individual citizens are also to be commended, in my opinion, for their personal contributions to the “restoration” of our community. I am encouraged when I see an old neglected, often dilapidated, house being sensitively restored to a strikingly beautiful appearance. Whenever this is done, the entire block benefits, as well as our city as a whole.
I am concerned, however, about the two Victorian houses immediately north of the Sinclair station. I seem to remember Brant Hansen being reported in the newspaper as saying something about an option the city has where they could purchase the houses and offer them for sale (my own words follow) under a covenant whereby the buyer must restore or preserve the exterior’s original appearance. The buyer would not be compelled but encouraged to retain original architectural features on the interior. I think it would be a sad thing to lose these two houses that reflect the architectural history of Ephraim. In my mind, they could be real assets to our Main Street which, after all, is the Heritage Highway.
All over town we can still see examples of pioneer-built homes (1860-1890) and some that were built somewhere later, all of which serve to inform us of life and ideals of a very different time and how things change over times. This enriches our lives, broadens our perceptions and perspective, and can actually inspire some people to take positive action toward preserving and enhancing what we are privileged to have.
I am a committed preservationist and an unabashed lover of old houses, as most people know and sometimes seem to resent. I try always to encourage people to research, appreciate, and preserve or restore their historical houses, stores, etc. Sometimes I’ve been critical, and I apologize. With all my faults, I do practice what I preach about honoring our architectural heritage. If I have inspired only one individual—and I think I have done at least that—then it is worth the effort and any criticism it might generate.
Does preservation matter? I would say, absolutely!