Salt Like City, Utah, USA
Religious, Christian, Mormon
Private Property 
Plural Marriage
1823 - Present

1 Room of Harriet Watkins 2 Room of Margaret Watkins 3 Sleeping Alcoves 4 Fireplace / Kitchen 5 Linens Cupboard 6 Window for Refrigeration
After fleeing Nauvoo in 1847, the Mormon community headed west to Utah, where geographic remoteness allowed them to practice their religious beliefs, including polygamous marriage or “living the principle”. It has been estimated that during the second half of the nineteenth century, nearly 20% of Mormon families were polygamous. New forms of architecture  were developed to house multiple families, including cohabitation - having more than one wife in the same house.

Mormons adapted traditional, single-family housing forms to plural marriage needs, like the house of Harriet, Margaret, and John Watkins in Provo. The two-room adobe house provided separate entrances for each wife, while an entry vestibule gave the appearance of a single front door; a discrete facade. There is, present in the plan, a clear attempt at equality and privacy for both wives. The deep sleeping alcoves of the center partition (3) could be curtained to create privacy between parents and children who slept in the same room. However, the fireplace was shared for cooking (4) as the linens cupboard (5), and the deep window used for refrigeration (6). The house appears to have worked until Watkins married his third wife, Mary Ann Sawyer in 1863.

Mormons End Notes

Sutton, Robert P. “Etienne Cabet and the Nauvoo Icarians: The Mormon Interface.” The John Whitmer Historical Association Journal, 2002, 43–50.

Ibid, 47

Carter, Thomas. “Living the Principle: Mormon Polygamous Housing in Nineteenth-Century Utah.” Winterthur Portfolio 35, no. 4 (2000): 223–51. Page 223.

Ibid, 223

Ibid, 232

Ibid, 245

Annie Schneider

Communes in the New World

The question of how to live together—of how best to live together—is the foundation of any society. The last few years have exposed the fault lines in our current system: climatic catastrophe, economic crisis, supply chain collapse, civil unrest, rampant inequality, and a global pandemic. We live in congested cities and in potentially dangerous proximity, yet remain isolated. In light of these mounting pressures, it’s time to revisit the fundamentals. How to Live Together offers alternative ways of being, thinking, dwelling, and living. It calls into question every basic assumption and prevailing social norm: belief, sex, the nuclear family, property ownership, our relationship to land, production, and consumption. It is both a critique and a roadmap.