Smith House Project

The Joseph M and Celestia Smith House in 2010
Update, 8-8-13
Another grant from the Utah State Historic Preservation Office has enabled the re-roofing of the south section of the Smith Home.  Volunteer contractors have addressed the most glaring electrical issues although a thorough re-wiring of the home is still needed.  Thanks to everyone who has participated in this project.  Please see the list of volunteer or donation opportunities below.

Update, 9-1-11 
With the help of DRC Contracting and Strong Roofing, the north section of the Smith House roof has been repaired, upgraded, reinforced and totally re-roofed!  These two contractors worked together, donating much labor and materials, to get this phase of the project completed with the $7500 cash available.  Family members, neighbors and service groups will also have a hand in the cleanup of the property and some other improvements.  Hopefully, another grant will make re-roofing the south roof a reality.   Electrical upgrades in the home are still an urgent need.  We hope to make strides with the electrical safety issues and are still asking for help from the community to make the electrical safe.

A National Register Landmark needs help  (2-11)
The Draper Historic Preservation Commission is requesting help in preventing further deterioration to this National Register landmark.  Moisture is often natures stealthiest foe against historic buildings.  In the case of the Smith House, the roof is leaking badly, causing damage to brick, plaster and the already poor interior wiring.  Now is the time to fix this problem before it weakens the structure of the house.

Over the years, kind neighbors have assisted by taking on projects to make the home safer and more livable.  Recently, they corrected a dangerous situation by donating all-new electrical service to the house.  It has been clear the existing interior wiring is not safe and is hazardous to the occupants and the long-term preservation of the building.  The roof must be replaced and the ancient and sparse wiring abandoned.  A code-compliant, surface-mounted electrical system is needed.  These are larger projects than friends and neighbors should be expected to handle on their own.

After making an assessment and becoming concerned about the threat to one of Draper's oldest and most significant homes, the Draper Historic Preservation Commission (DHPC) searched in vain for a funding source to stabilize the building against further damage or even condemnation.  In mid 2010 a rare grant opportunity was advertised by the State Historic Preservation Office for "shovel ready" projects involving National Register properties.

Although the application process was competitive, and the maximum grant amount $5000, the Joseph and Celestia Smith House was a perfect fit - and surely as ready as any project could be.  The Commission was conditionally awarded the grant, the conditions being -
  • The $5000 must be matched - at least $2500 in cash, the rest needed for the project can be matched through donated labor and/or materials
  • The work must respect the historic nature and materials of the house
  • The roof and interior wiring must be completed according to code outlined for historic houses
  • The work must be finished soon
The DHPC has committed up to $2500 from their budget for this preservation emergency but it is obvious, through the conventional contractor bid process, that the $7500 cash now available will only begin to cover the needed work.

We hope the community will join together to give this 130 year old house a more secure future and provide a boost for one of Draper's most charming neighborhoods.

WHAT IS NEEDED  (updated 8/13)
  • Licensed residential electrician(s)
  • Sturdy wiremold and wiring for approx 1800 sq ft 
  • Electrical boxes, outlets, switches, GFI's etc.
  • Hard-wired smoke/CO detectors
  • Appropriate ceiling light fixtures and porch light fixtures
  • Volunteers to do limited interior plaster repair
  • Volunteers to help with cleanup and possible low-maintenance landscaping
  • Construction debris and trash removal
  • Volunteers to do exterior trim rehab and paint
  • Paint for exterior trim
  • Cash donations  (last but not least)
Of course, there is more that could be done if folks are interested, but the work completed and the items listed above will help ensure the safety of the house and occupants for many years - and brighten a little spot worth remembering and preserving.

Please call Katie Shell at 801-635-7924 for more information about the Joseph and Celestia Smith House project.

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