Overview

The Alfred McCune Home, situated on Capitol Hill in Salt Lake City, Utah, is one of the several historic mansions in the area. This grandiose structure was constructed between 1898 and 1901 by Alfred William McCune, a railroad magnate and one of Utah’s first millionaires.

History and Ownership

  • Initial Construction and Purpose: The mansion was built with lavish expenditure, reflecting McCune’s wealth and status. In 1920, following the growth of his children, McCune donated the house to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  • Usage Over the Years: Initially intended as a residence for Church President Heber J. Grant, the mansion instead housed the McCune School of Music until 1957. It later served as a satellite campus for Brigham Young University and hosted the Virginia Tanner Dance School in its ballroom.

Cultural and Social Impact

  • Entertainment and Activism: Alfred and Elizabeth McCune were known for their extravagant hosting, including political and church figures. Elizabeth was also an active participant in women’s rights within the Church. Today, the mansion is utilized as a venue for weddings and conferences.
  • Supernatural Elements: The mansion reportedly houses at least two friendly spirits, known for their playful antics like turning lights on and off, and moving objects around.

Architectural Details

  • Inspiration and Design: Inspired by a house they admired on Riverside Drive in New York City, the McCunes employed architect S.C. Dallas, who spent two years studying various architectural styles across Europe and America. The result was a fusion of Gothic Revival and East Asian architecture.
  • Materials and Construction: High-quality materials were sourced globally: mahogany from the Caribbean and South Africa, oak from England, red roofing tiles from the Netherlands, and a large wall mirror from Germany. Interior walls were adorned with leather from Russia and marble from Nubia for the fireplaces.

Financial Aspects and Renovation

  • Cost and Comparisons: The mansion’s construction cost was around $1 million at the time, roughly equivalent to $28 million today, comparable to the value of celebrity homes.
  • Recent Developments: After a failed attempt by a community group to transform it into a cultural center, the mansion was purchased and renovated by businessman Philip McCarthey in 1999 following damage from a tornado.

Legacy and Preservation

Today, the Alfred McCune Home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and remains a testament to the grandeur of early 20th-century architecture and the vibrant history of its occupants.

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here