WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY (Washington County, Utah)
CERTIFICATE OF COMMENDATION (October, 2006)
to Zach & Gwen Griffith and Kevin Weed
for the preservation and restoration of the Old Rock House
Zach & Gwen Griffith and Kevin Weed are recognized for the preservation and
restoration of the Old Rock House located at 694 South Main St. in St. George.
When Zach Griffith purchased the property on the corner of 700 South and Main Street with his business partner, Kevin Weed, they weren't sure what they were going to do with it. All of the wood in the building was infested with termites and they wondered if it would be worth saving. The rock walls were painted green and had another coat or two beneath it.
The home looked older than it really was, and that unique and identifiable look of rock façade kept the new owners from tearing it completely down. They began to get feedback from community and passers-by. Some people even asked for a rock from the building as a memento if they tore it down. The new owners decided it needed to be saved.
As the construction on the building began, it essentially received an overhaul - all except the rock wall exterior. They kept the wall intact, but sand-blasted off the paint to give the building the original rock look. The interior of the building was "gutted" and everything new was made to look "old".
Zach's wife, Gwen, assisted as designer and decorator. Frank Fisher was the Architect and Engineer. The City of St. George and especially the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council were very supportive and encouraging as the project progressed, also Jake Burningham.
A parking lot was made in the back, with access off 700 South. The landscaping consists of desert plants. The building was completed in 2005 and now houses the offices of the Resort Appraisal Service, specializing in residential real estate appraising.
When the home was first built (records at the County Assessor's office indicate that it was built in 1946), it was on the edge of the city. Erwin Davenport, who grew up in St. George, remembers when it was built by Paul Wieler. The people who built the home were very poor. They patched up cement and got rocks from the Black Hill to build their home.
Records at the County Recorder's office show that the whole block was purchased by Neils Sandburg in 1911 and the south half was sold to Frank W. Wieler, Jr. and his wife, Ruth in 1944. Mrs. Myrtle Inez Rouse purchased the south half of the south half in 1951. There have been various owners and families who have lived in the rock house since. The last were Evan and Leda Stevens and then it stood vacant for some time.
The Washington County Historical Society is pleased to award a "Certificate of Commendation" to Zach & Gwen Griffith and Kevin Weed for the work done to restore this unique and historic building.