Heritage Conference Speakers

2023 Speakers’ Biographical Information

11 am Speaker: Allen D. Roberts – Sanpete Architect-Builders and their Work

Allen Dale Roberts, FAIA was born in Wisconsin in 1947. He came into a family with a strong building tradition with both his father and grandfather being designers and master carpenters and builders. Educated at BYU and the University of Utah, Allen was the State of Utah’s Historical Architect and Architectural Historian in the mid-1970s before co-founding Cooper/Roberts Architects with Wallace N. Cooper 2 in 1976. Now called CRSA, this was the first firm in the Intermountain West to create itself to specialize in the preservation, renovation and restoration of historic and other existing buildings.

Becoming fascinated with architecturally-rich Sanpete County starting in 1966, Allen began documenting, studying, purchasing and restoring historic buildings there, along with designing restorations and compatible new buildings for others. Among his Sanpete projects are the Huntsman Library and Social Hall here in Ephraim, the Manti Tabernacle and Tuttle/Folsom House in Manti, the Judge Johnson Mansion, Relief Society Granary and Endowment House in Spring City, plus numerous other restorations, often done with builder Craig Paulsen of Spring City.

Throughout his 40-plus-year career with CRSA, Allen’s projects have received more than 100 national, regional and local awards for preservation and design excellence. From the Utah Heritage Foundation (now Preservation Utah), he received the Lucy Beth Rampton Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in preservation. In 2017 he was elevated to the College of Fellows in the American Institute of Architects, or FAIA.

In Sanpete County, Allen has served as the  chairman of the Sanpete County and  Spring City Preservation Commissions.  For six years he taught architectural classes in Snow College’s Traditional Building Skills Institute or TBSI, which is apparently now being reestablished   In 1998 he coauthored the book Getting Together With Yesterday: A Tour of Sanpete County Historic Buildings. Then he authored the Sanpete County History published by the State in 1999.  

Allen retired from CRSA at the end of 2017 and since has been working as a preservation consultant and author. He is nearing the completion of two new books:  1) Architect R. K. A. Kletting: Utah Renaissance Man, and 2) Brigham’s Architects: Utah’s Pioneer Architect-builders and Their Works, 1847-1880, in which the historic architecture of Sanpete County is prominently featured.  


12 pm Speakers: Sarah Thomas –The Renovation of the Hansen House and Pioneer Park

Sarah lives with her family in Ephraim and is currently serving as the Pioneer Park Director for Fort Ephraim Camp, Daughters of Utah Pioneers (DUP).  She likes to call herself a ‘Professional Volunteer.’ She served as the Regional Director of Sanpete and Sevier Counties  Utah State Parent Teacher Association (PTA).  While serving with the State PTA , she was trained in writing grants, 501(c)(3)s and fundraising. She also served on several committees for the Utah State Board of Education (USBE), such as the parent review committee for testing, the school report card committee, finding new testing for the state committee, and most recently, she sat on the Trust Lands Committee for USBE. While serving on these committees she learned to work with Government groups and also learned the art of networking.  As a new member of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers (DUP), and with her past experience,  Sarah gladly took the opportunity when asked, to spearhead the Hansen House and Pioneer Park renovation project that began in late fall 2019 and is ongoing. 

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