Way We Were: The house on Norfolk Avenue
Park City Museum Research Coordinator
Park City’s mining-era homes reflect three distinct types of architectural styles: the hall-parlor home, the T-cottage and the pyramid house.
Hall-parlor homes were quick and easy to build, making them the go-to style for the town’s earliest settlers. In the beginning, the reliance on an unstable industry subject to boom and bust led to a general hesitation to potentially waste time, money and resources on building up a town that might not exist in a few short years.
By the 1890s, however, Park City was solidly on its feet and more varied architectural styles began to appear. The house at 843 Norfolk is a perfect example of the pyramid style, commonly used for larger and more ornate homes. John and Harriet Weeter bought the property in 1895 and hired architect C.H. Campbell to design and build their new home.
“Campbell has completed plans and specifications for an elegant new residence for J.C. Weeter. …Work on same will be commenced next week,” The Park Record reported on April 27, 1895.
The home was elegant indeed. Campbell added variations to the basic pyramid structure, including many decorative Victorian elements. Fish-scale shingles add pattern and texture to the gable and a small sunburst design on the decorative pediment lends an artistic touch. Many aspects of 843 Norfolk’s architecture are typical for the late Victorian era, but details like the ornamental brackets, balusters, and banisters on the porch are all rare in Park City.
John Weeter and his wife had originally moved to Park City in the 1880s after a short time working in real estate in Salt Lake City. Upon arrival, he established the Weeter Lumber Company. The Weeters’ large house on Norfolk likely doubled as a showroom for lumber products sold by the company.
The Weeters did not live in their new home for long. Four short years after they bought the property, they sold it to William S. Wright. A quick succession of owners followed, including local photographer Willis Adams, until Frank and Hulda Andrew purchased it in 1908. The couple bought the home just months before the birth of their seventh child. The family owned the property for more than 30 years.
Frank Andrew was a furniture maker in Park City, “blessed with a jovial, happy disposition, with always a cheerful work and cordial greeting for friends and acquaintances.” His business was located at 444 Main St. When he died suddenly on May 1, 1921, many Parkites mourned his loss. Businesses all over town closed for two hours on the day of his funeral out of respect for Andrew and, his obituary noted, his cortege was “one of the longest seen in Park City.”
This and other houses on lower Norfolk and Woodside avenues will be featured on our upcoming annual Historic Home Tour. This year’s tour is on June 24. Check this column each week between now and then to read more stories. For more information about the tour, visit the Park City Museum’s website at parkcityhistory.org or call us at 435-649-7457.
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Park City recently detailed the efforts to fill a range of vacant municipal posts in 2018 and 2019 as officials described the challenges City Hall has encountered in its hiring amid a hot economy.