Dinwoodey Mansion, originally marketed as a tear-down, is protected from demolition after all

Days after a neighborhood Facebook group reposted a real estate listing for 411 and 419 East 100 South as “Tear down dwellings that are necessary to build future apartment or condo buildings,” the consensus among preservationists – including the keepers of records at city hall – was that the Dinwoodey was on the national but not local register of historic places.

With no protection from demolition in local zoning code, it looked doomed, part of a $20 million package of properties that the seller is refusing to split up.  

The seller, who has since removed “teardowns” from the listing, has been contacted by preservationists. Advocates say they have made no progress in convincing the owners to sever from the sale the historical buildings – which include the Chateau Normandie apartments on the NE corner of 400 East and 100 South.

From left: the Chateau Normandie, the Dinwoodey, and the Weir. Photos by Luke Garrott and Jacob Barlow.

Built in 1931 and lauded for its roomy apartments, unique charm, and art deco tilework in reviews of the building, it currently sits largely vacant with a “for rent” sign visible from 100 South.

At 63-73 South 400 East, The Normandie is not landmarked. Neither is the structure at 419 East, focus of the sales listing, known as the Weir Mansion.

The owners did not respond to Building Salt Lake’s request for comment.

The discovery process: silos broken down

Located just outside both the South Temple and Avenues local historic districts, the Dinwoodey (also spelled Dinwoody) was part of a historical survey Roger Roper worked on in the 1980s. Currently the Deputy Director of the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), Roper seemed to recall something when he heard about the imminent demolition. 

Checking SHPO records with “a lingering recollection that 411 was locally listed,” Roper found the Dinwoodey in SHPO’s local register database. But there was no documentation of how and when it was listed. 

Roper’s call to the Planning Division at Salt Lake City hall mobilzed archivists in the Recorder’s Office. Michaela Oktay, Deputy Planning Director, told us that Planning records showed conflicting information: it was listed in the city’s GIS but Planning didn’t have documentation of the local register listing. 

Deputy City Recorder Keith Reynolds and City Archives Clerk Steven Thain needed 24 hours to produce the missing documentation. A 1976 ordinance amending Title 51 Chapter 32 (now 21.A.34.020) automatically placed all sites then on the national register on the local one. It only applied to properties on the national register at the time of the ordinance’s enactment.

The Dinwoodey was placed on the National Register in 1974 by the State Historical Preservation Office. 

Oktay reflected in an email, “When we discovered the discrepancy I had to take a breath…then sighed with relief knowing that this Kletting designed and significant historic landmark was protected.”

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Posted by Luke Garrott

Luke Garrott, PhD, has published in The Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News, and written features for the Salt Lake City Weekly City Guide and The West View. A former two-term councilman in Salt Lake City's District 4, he lives in Downtown Salt Lake City and grew up in the Chicago area.