Historic Context: Adding a Building in Provo’s Historic Downtown


Throwback to Young, Kester & Petro Law Offices

A few years ago, when Utah Law Partners Young, Kester & Petro (now Young, Kester, Black & Jube) bought a building lot in the historic district of Provo, they approached Curtis Miner Architecture (CMA) to design their new building. The site was within one block of Provo Center Street which is the home of some of the best examples of Utah County turn-of-the-century architecture. The owners directed CMA to design a building to reflect and reinforce the historic nature of the area.

The CMA team started with a detailed study of the historic buildings in the area along with historical construction methods. Their findings led them to hone in on the iconic commercial architecture of the late 1800s. The main design idea for the new law office was to utilize historic masonry details, window geometries, and building massing all while conveying a subtle contemporary flair.


Upper level windows of Young Kester Petro Office Building

“We studied carefully to understand brick patterns and window design, roof lines, and all of the intricate architectural details that were part of buildings designed 140 years ago,” explains Curtis Miner, Principal. “Our design wasn’t an attempt to copy those buildings, it was an attempt to interpret and apply what architects did back then. We organized the building architecturally in a way to compliment the older buildings in the area.”


Front entrance of Young Kester Petro Building

And fit in it has. It fits in so well, in fact, that many people have mistaken it for one of the historic Provo buildings of the 1800s. It seems the building is perfectly suited to its new, old home.