25 August 2020

Demotion of the Triplex at 915-919 S. Gale Street

Triplex at 915-919 S Gale Street in Aug 2020, before demolition.

This triplex located at 915-919 S. Gale St (340 West) will likely soon be demolished to make way for a parking lot for the Big O Tires, located to the east.

The triplex was built by Jesse R. Pettit (1886-1949), son of Edwin Pettit who was a prominent Mormon pioneer and was said to be a bodyguard of Brigham Young. Edwin had 14 children by his second wife, many of whom (including Jesse) owned numerous plots of land in the SLC 5th Ward (300-700 West and 600 -1000 South).

In the first half of the 20th Century, the SLC 5th Ward was home to many immigrants, especially those from Western Europe.

Jesse Pettit built the triplex in 1909 at the age of 22 and started raising his family. Jesse and his wife, Phyllis, lived in the southernmost apartment and rented out the other two. He was active in the community serving as a Mormon Bishop; he presided over many weddings and funerals and participated in the laying of the cornerstone for the new 5th Ward Meetinghouse at 740 S 300 West.

Jesse was a plumber and co-owned a plumbing and heating company. He also dabbled in real-estate development buying and building several properties in the neighborhood and renting them out. He and his family eventually moved to Bountiful in 1919.

The other major owner of the triplex was Mrs. Eva James (1894-1984). She purchased the triplex in 1938 and lived there until 1975. Eva was a widow and lived in the southernmost apartment with her youngest child, a teenage son. She also rented out the other apartments and seemed to live a quiet life. She retired to Tooele in 1977.

This building is within the SLC Warehouse National Historic District which makes it eligible for historic rehab tax credits but because it is not within a Local (SLC) Historic District there are no mandatory preservation requirements for the current owner.

Triplex at 915-919 S Gale Street in Aug 2020, before demolition.

Triplex at 915-919 S Gale Street in Aug 2020, before demolition.

Triplex ca. 1915 with Jesse Pettit and kids, from Gaye Goff on ancestry.

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