Brick by brick, historic Provo home dismantled and rebuilt

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Built in 1853, the historic James Loveless home has been dismantled and is being rebuilt at Provo's Pioneer Village. (Photo courtesy provomayor.com)

Built in 1853, the historic James Loveless home has been dismantled and is being rebuilt at Provo’s Pioneer Village. (Photo courtesy provomayor.com)

In 1853, LDS Bishop James Loveless built a small adobe home at 677 W. 200 South in Provo. The house was eventually stuccoed and modernized, and looked like all the other homes on its street. But the house is the oldest standing structure in Provo, and was nearly demolished last year to make way for an expanded church parking lot. The community rallied around the cause and the church decided to spare the structure.

Now the house has been carefully dismantled and put back together at Provo’s Pioneer Village, at 600 North and 500 West.

“The bricks were so incredibly fragile that we had to dismantle it brick by brick,” said Steve Nelson, the mayor of Pioneer Village. “Each was hand removed and stacked carefully on pallets, then we sorted through and found the best of the bricks to finish the outside of the adobe house. So the whole thing was an incredible labor of love.”

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If You Go

What: Pioneer Village Concert and Ball
When: 7 p.m., Friday, May 2
Where: Provo Recreation Center, 320 W. 500 North
Cost: $35 for a couple, $20 per person, $15 children ages 14-17
You can purchase tickets at the door or in advance at events.regtix.com.
The event benefits the relocation and renovation of James Loveless home.

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Nelson said they also were able to remove the hand-blown glass windows and put them back on and save the adobe brick on the fireplace. The house has historic hardware on the doors and now volunteers are working on the interior and roof.

“We’re going to plaster the walls and make it look like it was back in the 1850s,” he said.

The house will be dedicated on June 7, and joins other pioneer buildings in the village — the Turner cabin, the Haws cabin, a granary, school, woodshop, corncrib and outhouse.

“The whole village is exciting and this is adding to the significance of the village,” Nelson said.
But all the work on the house isn’t free, and the Pioneer Village is hoping people will help out by attending a fundraiser at 7 p.m. Friday, May 2 at the Provo Recreation Center. The event will feature musician and storyteller Clive Romney, pioneer band Willingly, vintage dance instructor Kimberly Grant and Old Glory Vintage Dancers. Attendees are encouraged to wear pioneer clothes or Sunday best.

Nelson also is looking for volunteers to help out at the village during its summer season. Volunteers dress in historic clothes and interact with visitors on Saturdays during the season, which starts May 24. If you’re interested in volunteering, Nelson is holding a training session on May 17. For more information on that, call him at (801) 375-9299 or email him at stevenscnelson@comcast.net.

For more information on the village, go to provopioneervillage.org.

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Amie Rose has more than 14 years of experience writing and editing at newspapers in Utah and New Mexico. She graduated from BYU with a degree in journalism. She lives in Utah Valley with her husband, toddler and crazy dog.

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