Filed Under Architecture

The Gustav Becker House

The Gustav L. Becker home is an outstanding example of the Prairie Style in residential architecture in Utah. The Becker home is related stylistically to a group of Prairie Style homes located one block to the south as part of the Eccles Avenue Historic District.

The  prairie style home was built in 1915 for Gustav Lorenz Becker (1868-1947) and his wife Thekla Bowen Becker.  Thekla Bowen Becker consulted heavily with the architect and interior designer, Walter E. Ware  of Ware and Treganza, a popular architectural firm in the area at the time.  The design appears to have been adapted from Frank Lloyd Wright's "A Fireproof House for $5,000" published in Ladies Home Journal in April of 1907. 

The couple married in 1892. As a talented cook and socialite, Thekla Bowen Becker  was well known in the community to host dinners and get-togethers. Gustav L. Becker  had hobbies of his own such as sharpshooting and often performed his shooting tricks for others.  

Gustav L. Becker was born on April, 7th, 1868 and grew up to become a pillar within the Ogden, Utah community. He was often called a, “noted industrialist.” His own savvy business expertise as well as that of his brother and business partner, Alfred Becker, led their business, The Becker Brewing Company, to become one of the leading distributors in the west. 

In 1939, Gustav Becker was appointed President of the United State Brewers Association. He was an important man in the business and had previously served as chairman of the association's executive committee, gains committee, and hops committee. 

In addition to the brewery business, Gustav Becker was active in several other Utah businesses. He served as director of the Amalgamated Sugar Company, Ogden State Bank, the Utah-Idaho Central Railway Company, the Superior Rock Springs Coal Company, the Ogden Morning Examiner, the Tintic Standard Mining Company, and Lion Coal Company. Although his early years were dedicated to building his business and his family, in 1918, at the  age of 50, Becker joined the Utah National Guard and was one of 12 recipients of the American Legion Award.  Becker was well-known and well-liked. In 1947, in the announcement of his passing, The Salt Lake Tribune wrote that Becker was "the first westerner to be adopted into the Bannock  and Shoshone tribe of Indians, just after the same tribe adopted the late pres. Franklin D.  Roosevelt.”  

After Becker’s death on January 12th, 1947, his wife remained in the Van Buren Avenue home until her death in 1958. The Becker home was purchased in 1959 by Milton and Rita Berlin who renovated the home for use as a wedding reception center.  Today the Gustav Becker house serves as a children’s justice center.

Images

Gustav and Thekla Becker
Gustav and Thekla Becker Source: "Gustav and Thekla Becker, undated." n.d. P0361 Box 005, Folder 27, Item 033; Gustav Lorenz Becker Photograph Collection. Courtesy of USU Special Collections, Merrill-Cazier Library. http://exhibits.usu.edu/exhibits/show/beckerbrewing/item/12872.
The Gustav House in the 1910s.
The Gustav House in the 1910s. Source: "Glbecker1915s.JPG." 1910-1917. Via Wikimedia Commons. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Glbecker1915s.JPG.
The back of the Gustav Becker House
The back of the Gustav Becker House Source: "Becker, Gustav, House." 1915. 77001327; National Register of Historic Places Collection. https://npgallery.nps.gov/NRHP/AssetDetail/042f4cae-c1a8-418c-9a71-179de82439d2.

Location

Metadata

Shelbie Durrant, Weber State University, “The Gustav Becker House,” Intermountain Histories, accessed April 16, 2024, https://www.intermountainhistories.org/items/show/672.