Book review: 'Images of America: The Avenues' a historical treasure for architecture-philes

By Rachel Helps

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, May 19 2012 3:00 p.m. MDT

"IMAGES OF AMERICA: The Avenues," by Cevan LeSieur, Arcadia Publishing, $21.99, 128 pages (nf)

Salt Lake City has no need to envy San Fransisco's Victorian row; Salt Lake City has its own Victorians and historical, beautiful buildings. "Images of America: The Avenues" encapsulates photos of the Avenues district, including buildings that have been demolished. The photos and captions give readers a feel for now historical architectural styles like Craftsman and Bungalow designs.

The author, Cevan LeSieur, has restored two Avenues homes himself. His love for historical homes is evident from his detailed captions and from the lingering sadness present in his description of buildings that have been demolished or "obliterated." Readers may also feel a sense of nostalgia or loss when they see the long gone Longfellow Elementary School or the early LDS Hospital in their prime.

The photos are reproduced in high resolution and appear in excellent condition. Puzzlingly, photos of "community leaders" appear in the first chapter, while the book's unique photos appear in later chapters. Some photos lack dates, which seem necessary for historical research. A walking tour or guide to existing historical homes would have been a nice addition to this compilation. However, these flaws are minor, and the collection of photos helps to instill pride in historic Salt Lake City and a desire to preserve the works of art that are historical architecture.

If you go

What: Cevan LeSieur book signing

When: Saturday, May 26, 2 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com, arcadiapublishing.com

Rachel Helps has a bachelor's degree in psychology and a passion for old books and video gaming. Her gaming articles are online at thepretentiousgamer.blogspot.com

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