Monday, February 21, 2011

Main and 2nd South in SLC

This blog is called Utah's Present History and up till now, it has been all about Provo.  I was in Salt Lake City on Saturday and decided to take some photos.  I was especially excited about the first photo, which was from on top of the Boston Building, located about 350 S Main St.  The building was closed, but I found a nice fire escape that I was able to grab and climb up.  There were no 'No Trespassing' signs, but I figured it would be okay to take a quick photo.  However, half way up the fire escape, a security guard started shouting at me from the ground, telling me to get off.  I climbing down, and tried to win her over so I could go take the picture.  She wouldn't have it.  She told me that it was unsafe (which is ironic, since the fire escape is supposed to be a safe way to exit the building).  I didn't get the photo, but I'll try again in the future.

The other photo was taken from main street looking west onto 2nd South.  Here is the original from 1907 and what it looks like today:

Used by permission, Utah State Historical Society, all rights reserved.

I tried to locate the Hotel Monaco (the gray building on the left) and the Capitol Theatre (located on the right) in the photo from 1907 since they were the most distinguishable buildings in the area.  When searching the internet I found out that these two buildings didn't exist in 1907.  The Capital Theatre was opened in 1913 (it was probably constructed right after the original photo) and the Hotel Monaco, which is in the Continental Bank Building, was built in 1924.

I did find out some great information on the Continental Bank Building.  It too was highlighted by the Utah Heritage Foundation.  Apparently it was threatened by demolition in the 90's.  It was saved when the property was bought to use as a hotel.  The Utah Heritage Foundation stated, "As this preservation success story illustrates, the problem with "economically unviable" historic buildings often lies in the perception of developers rather than in the buildings themselves."  Often, historic buildings are at risk because they are seen as not profitable.  However with the right mindset, this common perception is found to be untrue.

As for the future of this site, there is an interesting project going on now with the Capitol Theatre.  There is an empty lot just to the west of it.  There are plans for Ballet West to build a dance center.  For more information, click here.  One more thing to add about the Capitol Theatre.  I was really impressed with it, because it has architectural feel very similar to some of the buildings by Gaudí.  Gaudí is a Spanish architect, and has made some of the most interesting, organic, and incredible buildings I have ever seen.  He's amazing.  If you want to see more of his stuff, click here.

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