28 April 2020

Unique Modern Duplex at 475-477 9th Avenue SLC

Duplex at 475-477 9th Ave in SLC, April 2020.

This modernistic duplex in the Avenues of SLC was touted as “one of the most perfectly insulated new homes” when it was built in 1939.

So well-built and full of construction innovation, the structure was studied by the students of West High School’s vocational class the year it was constructed.

Located at 475-477 9th Avenue, the duplex was completed in April 1939 for owner John A. McMillan, who worked for the Union Pacific Railroad. It was designed by Fletcher K. Smith and built by Clarence Maurer construction. Mr. and Mrs. McMillan lived in one side of the duplex and they rented out the other for additional income.

Brick veneer was used to construct the duplex and 4 inches of air space left between the brick and sheeting was filled with heavy felt lining and rock wool for insulation. This method was seldom used at the time but was touted for its greater insulation efficiency and was reportedly soundproof.

Each side of the duplex had the same layout with a garage, bedroom, and bathroom on the first floor; the second floor had a living room, 2 bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen, and dinette. In the tower was a sewing room for each apartment.

Source: Salt Lake Tribune, April 30 1939 p38 & 43

Duplex in 1939, from Salt Lake Tribune Apr 30 1939

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