Preservationists seek answers in vandalism, theft at historic SLC mansion

Mar 29, 2022, 11:14 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 10:43 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Something significant was missing Monday from a historic property, and preservationists were hoping someone could crack the case.

Preservation Utah Executive Director David Amott said sections of brass and cast-iron fencing in front of Fisher Mansion, located at 1206 West 200 South, had been ripped out and stolen.

“It’s a tremendous loss,” Amott said in an interview with KSL TV on Tuesday. “My hope is they can be recovered, but my guess is that they probably were cut up and sold for scrap.”

Amott said it was unclear but unlikely there were surveillance cameras in the area that captured anything.

The mansion was built in 1893 and was designed by Richard Kletting, an architect known for designing the original Saltair, as well as the Utah State Capitol.

The home is named after its original owner, Albert Fisher.

“Albert Fisher was an immigrant from Germany,” Amott explained. “He landed here in about 1870. He worked for a brewer that gave him insight into the need for additional breweries and beer in Utah, and so in the 1880s, he started his own brewery, the Fisher Brewing Company, which of course has been revived in the 21st Century. Up to the mid-20th Century, Fisher Beer was the beer for Utah — it was the beer that sold out first.”

Amott said the mansion served as a halfway house for Catholic charities from the 1970s to 1990s, and was taken on by Salt Lake City in 2006.

In more recent times, Amott said the home has been repeatedly vandalized, including having windows broken. The stolen fence was the latest misdeed.

Because of how it was made and what materials were used, Amott said the same fence practically could not be reproduced today.

Amott said there were still hopes of turning the home into a café or boutique hotel as the area around it is transformed in the years to come. The historic Carriage House behind it, he said, is expected to be become a museum that also houses a boat rental business centered around the neighboring Jordan River.

“I am optimistic in saying this is the low point of the mansion,” Amott said. “My hope, to add a silver lining to the cloud, is that this just provides more incentive to put a priority on the Fisher Mansion and really again make it activated and a place of life and gathering.”

He hoped anyone with information about the whereabouts of the fence sections and who vandalized and stole them would contact Salt Lake City Police at 801-799-3000.

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Preservationists seek answers in vandalism, theft at historic SLC mansion