• headerbg2

Gibbs Thomas house, Salt Lake City

On June 24, 1895 Gideon A. and Margaret Taylor Gibbs received a building permit for this residence on North West Temple in Salt Lake City. Gibbs, a pioneer Utah civil engineer and surveyor had married a daughter of John Taylor, third president of LDS Church. Taylor's wedding gift of $3,800 to the couple covered the house's estimated cost of construction for this Richard Kletting-designed, Victorian home. Unfortunately, in harder times, Margaret Gibbs was forced to sell the house "by Sheriff" in 1903.

The house's most illustrious resident, Elbert D. Thomas, was elected as a U.S. Senator from Utah in 1932, defeating Republican incumbent Reed Smoot. Later President Truman appointed him to be High Commissioner of the United States Trust Territories of the Pacific.

The Gibbs-Thomas House has maintained its original integrity despite once being converted into multiple apartments. It is unfortunate that of the numerous large mansions from the 1880s and '90s that once lined West Temple the Gibbs-Thomas House is the only one that remains. But this home is here to stay thanks to the stewardship of Elaine and J.P. Hughes.

Purchased from the previous owners in 1989 under the condition that this would remain a single family residence, Elaine and J.P. Hughes have taken on several dozen preservation projects over more than twenty years. Everything from windows and doors to mechanical systems, furnishings, and landscape. They have worked tirelessly to accurately preserve the home, but the best part about the Hughes' is that they love to share their passion with others. Always hosting parties, or just inviting people of to see the place, Elaine and J.P. have every right to be proud of what they have accomplished.

Utah Heritage Foundation presented JP and Elaine Hughes with a Heritage Award for stewardship of the Gibbs Thomas house.