Take a historic old house a few blocks from downtown Salt Lake City, plenty of hard work and a desire to get into business and you have the Anton Boxrud Bed and Breakfast House at 57 S. Sixth East.
The fifth bed and breakfast house in Salt Lake City opened July 31 Owner Margaret Fuller showed off the improvements she has made since February. She has transformed a rooming house, crammed at one time with 20 people, into a homey place for business travelers seeking an alternative to a hotel or motel.Fuller said the house was designed by architect Walter Ware about 1900 and owned originally by clothing manufacturer Anton Boxrud, who came to Salt Lake City from Norway. She purchased the house on contract from the previous owner and set to work turning it into income property.
"It was helpful to have the plans of the house in the Marriott Library at the University of Utah so we could see exactly how the place needed to be restored," Fuller said. She has a two-year plan approved by Salt Lake officials to restore the outside.
She already has had guests in the house stay a night then receive a homecooked breakfast from Joy Stechschulte, who manages the house for Fuller.
Fuller said for a bed and breakfast operation to work, a house needs an area where a guest can feel comfortable and it also has space for the manager to live and cook the food.
The Anton Boxrud house does that, she believes.
With the help of her husband, Ray Fuller, an engineer, the Fullers began the tedious restoration project by repairing wood, removing any additions that differed from the original plans, put on wall coverings, improved the bathrooms, restored old furniture and did plenty of painting.
As time goes on, she wants to obtain other antiques for restoration that will add more charm to her venture and more work needs to be done in the basement and attic.
Next door at 53 S. Sixth East, a friend, Rosa Runnoe, is just starting to restore a house that at one time was split into eight apartments. She also purchased the home on contract from the previous owner and it was only a few days ago that she was able to evict the tenants.
Runnoe and her husband, Dennis, who is an engineer and works with Ray Fuller, plan to live in the house once the trash is removed and the rooms restored. Runnoe said her husband will do most of the work although she might have to borrow some money to purchase material and equipment.
Both women said the restoration projects not only will preserve the historic houses, but will improve the neighborhood. They said the tenants left mountains of trash and apparently had no concern for cleanliness as evidenced by the garbage being carried out of Runnoe's house.