The Gardo House , often known as Amelia’s Palace, is controversial and intriguing. The mansion was formerly one of the best between Chicago and the West Coast. The home’s unique notoriety is due to its peculiar architecture, famous interior, and notable residents.
The Gardo House, LDS Church President Wilford Woodruff’s parsonage on South Temple and State Street, was confiscated in 1887 by federal polygamy enforcers. The Church left the Gardo House in displeasure when Woodruff rejected polygamy in 1890 and had to pay rent.
Historical Significance of the House
Gardo Mansion construction
Gardo House construction began in 1873 on the southwest corner of State Street and South Temple. It was built by LDS Church President Brigham Young to welcome traveling dignitaries, but rumors spread that it was for Young’s favorite wife, Amelia Folsom, and was nicknamed “Amelia’s Palace.”
The four-story residence had a tower, spiral staircase, and beautiful black walnut woodwork. Rooms included elegant furnishings and paintings. Brigham Young died in 1877 before the palace was finished, but its luxury would become famous.
Receiving building materials slowed home construction. These difficulties prevented Brigham Young from seeing the home finished. In 1879, John Taylor became the church’s head. Young hosted religious leaders in his home office.
After John Taylor’s death in 1887, Wilford Woodruff became Church president and worked at the Gardo Mansion. Church authorities sought parsonage status for this home because the Edmunds-Tucker Act required fees and taxes. After failing, the Keely Institute rented the Gardo House. This alcohol and drug addiction organization used the home for a year. The church rented the house for several years.
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Edward F. Holmes purchased the Gardo House
Edward F. Holmes gave his wife the Gardo House in 1901. The Holmes renovated their new home, making it famous. The couple had hundreds of guests at their opulent gatherings. Holmes lived there until World War I. They listed the mansion after getting used to California, but no one was interested. The Red Cross used the Gardo House to teach health and basic skills until the war’s end.
Local artists carved black walnut spiral staircases, paneling, and trim. The rooms included European mirrors, indigenous art, and elegant furnishings. The church spent between $30,000 and $50,000 finishing and furnishing the edifice, according to several writers.
The four-story mansion has a tower on the northwest corner and a basement. Granite formed the foundation and basement. The outside walls were 2 x 6 studs infilled with adobe bricks, with lath and plaster inside and two layers of lath and stucco outside.
People also ask :
Gardo House demolished when?
Why was the Gardo House demolished?
The church couldn’t afford the mansion’s pricey renovations and aging foundation. On November 26, 1921, the Federal Reserve Bank demolished the Gardo Mansion.
Where was the Gardo House located?
Salt Lake City
The building located south of Brigham Young’s Beehive House and east of the 1855 LDS Church historian’s office at 70 E. South Temple in Salt Lake City.
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