The restoration of the historic building at 1 East Main Street in American Fork, Utah, has been named “Most Outstanding Project” in the small renovation/restoration category for 2015 by Utah Design and Construction.
The restoration of the historic building at 1 East Main Street in American Fork, Utah has been named “Most Outstanding Project” in the small renovation/restoration category for 2015 by Utah Design and Construction. The restoration was completed by People's Utah Bancorp, with CRSA as the architectural firm and Big-D Construction as the demolition and construction team.
Utah Construction and Design honors projects completed during 2015, which are selected by a panel of industry professionals in the architectural, engineering and construction industry. Other projects honored alongside the historic restoration in American Fork on Dec. 8 include the LDS Provo City Center Temple and University of Utah Student Life Center.
The building in American Fork was originally built in 1905 to house a bank established in 1891, the original Bank of American Fork. Thus, the building housed American Fork's first full-service professional bank. That bank was dissolved in the 1930's. The current Bank of American Fork was originally called People's State Bank of American Fork and was housed down the street. People's State Bank of American Fork changed its name to Bank of American Fork in the 1960's.
The building has remained standing, and since the original bank it housed closed in 1932, it has been the site of retail shops and offices. In 1993 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places, and a plaque on the exterior notes the history and style of the building.
“Neo-classical in style, the construction is of iron oxide bricks with wood columns, ionic and composite capitals, arches with limestone keystones, entablature sills, brackets and extensive ornamental pressed metal trim. The original Bank of American Fork building here has retained most of its original fabric and is a significant example of historic commercial architecture. Its presence along Main Street recalls the economic vitality of the early twentieth century.”
People's Utah Bancorp, the parent company of current Bank of American Fork, purchased the building in 2014 and spent much of 2014 and 2015 restoring the building. Now it is the new headquarters of People's Utah Bancorp and a grand opening was held for the community in July 2015.
“We wanted to restore it to recall that economic vitality of American Fork Main Street,” said Richard Beard, president and CEO of People's Utah Bancorp. “It's a beautiful building and example of the history of the economic infrastructure of American Fork. The original bank it housed was committed to the community and we are committed to the community and to the economy of American Fork's Main Street.”
CRSA was the architectural firm used to restore the building and Big-D Construction did the demolition and construction. Restoring a historical building has unique challenges compared to a new building.
“The biggest challenge with a restoration is that you need to maintain the look of the building while bringing it up to current code,” said Geoff Bird, project manager at Big-D Construction. “There were a lot of existing conditions that we couldn't really see until during the demolition process. Everybody is aware of how to deal with today's construction materials, but trying to harmonize the old and the new is always a challenge.”
Bird worked with People's Utah Bancorp's project team, Brian Thompson and Dale Gunther, as they slowly uncovered bits of history inside the building. Bird mentioned that one of his favorite parts of the project was working with the ownership team — everyone from the bank, construction company and architectural firm was excited about the project.
“The ceiling was certainly the fun find of the project and ended up being the focal point of the remodel, in my opinion,” Bird said. “We didn't even know the original ceiling was there so it was exciting to uncover it.”
Once uncovered, many hours of labor went in to restoring the ceiling alone. Workers hand painted parts of the ceiling to restore the look of the original building. The finished look is impressive — community members who visited the building during the grand opening were in awe of the hand-painted details and loyalty to the original look.
For more information, visit http://utahbusiness.com.