20th century tower becomes part of new eco-friendly home

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A new house under construction in Salt Lake has a piece of history already built into it. Tonight we bring you the story behind the ultra-modern home going up around an old tower.

20th century tower becomes part of new eco-friendly home

Bill and Mary Andolsek thought about building their dream home for years, but they didn't know where to put it until they saw the tower.

"When we drove up 1300 South and saw this, it was like, ‘Oh, the tower!' It's like being back overseas, and so we just fell in love with the tower," Mary said.

The tower was built in the 1920s on the east bench. It's intended use was a gate post for the entrance to a golf course, but the project never materialized. "The developer of the golf course went bankrupt, and so they sold the property; and when they sold the property, St. Mary's built a school," Mary explained.

The school eventually gave way to a residential neighborhood, but the stone tower lived on in what became known as "The Castle House."

When the Andolseks bought the property five years ago, they said they received several calls from anxious neighbors concerned they were going to tear the tower down.

20th century tower becomes part of new eco-friendly home

"We wanted to get a sign at one point that says: ‘We are keeping the tower!" Mary said. "It's great to be able to keep something so old … that has such memories for many people. It's so great to be a part of that."

The tower isn't the only link to the past. The Andolseks are recycling the roof and trees from the previous house and will use them as mulch for the yard. "We had to take every shingle off by hand and take every nail out," Mary said.

But that's not the only recycling that was done. "We saved all the kitchen cabinets. We saved all the stonework from the outside. We saved the hardware from the bathrooms to reuse in the other bathrooms. We recycled as much as we could from the hardwood floors," Mary explained.

It's all in an effort to make their home the first LEED-certified in Salt Lake. "LEED is ‘Energy Efficiency and Environmental Design' sustainable home, sustainable building," Bill said. "We'll use solar-thermal to heat up the water and the radiant flooring."

20th century tower becomes part of new eco-friendly home

The house will also include high-efficiency windows, water-efficient bathroom fixtures, energy-efficient appliances and chemical free paints.

"To me, I don't know about global warming. I really don't know if it's true or not, but I do know that we need to be responsible for what we have and be good caretakers," Mary said.

From gate tower, to Castle House, and soon a vanguard for eco-friendly living; when the transformation is complete, the Andolseks hope their new recycled home showcases the many simple things people can do to conserve and prevent waste. But if people still want to call it ‘The Castle House,' that's OK by them.

The home's completion date is set for the spring and it will be featured in the Parade of Homes. The house was designed by Robert Pinon and constructed by Legacy Custom Homes.

E-mail: cmadsen@ksl.com

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Candice Madsen


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