Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Request for the Communal Building

     A couple of weeks back I had a friend request that I do the building located on the northeast corner of 100 N and University Ave in Provo.  This building is currently occupied by Communal, a local restaurant, on the bottom and Legends Salon on the top.  My friend heard that the building may have been the previous Provo post office.  I did some researching, and after looking around 10 times I finally found the following photo from around 1940:

Photo courtesy of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Brigham Young University

   The iconic Knight building is on the far right.  The Communal building is the second building from the left (it looks like it is next to a theatre).   This building was built in 1913 as the home of the Consolidated Wagon and Wheel Company.After this time, it had several uses, including a goldsmith shop and the local Greyhound bus terminal for 40 years.  In 1976, a local businessman bought the building from Heindselman-Maw and turned it into a jewelry store.  This businessman still retains ownership of the property, and continues to lease it out to local businesses.  You may remember the previous occupant of the building, the Crazy Canuck, the hockey/Canadian store.  Here is the photograph as it currently appears in addition to the Communal building:

     The most noticeable thing about the new photo compared to the old is the giant Wells Fargo Building that has since replaced the previous buildings that were located on the corner of 100 N.  Here is an additional photo from 1898 of the buildings that were previously located where the Wells Fargo Building currently is:

Photo courtesy of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Brigham Young University

     A caption was added to the photo.  It reads: "Because of increased enrollment in 1896, the eight grades and kindergarten of the Normal Training School were transferred to the Central Building on the southeast corner of First North and Academy Avenue, where the First Security Bank now stands.  The classes were held on the upper floors of the building, partially obscured in this photograph by the Farrer Brothers and Co. float in the Pioneer Day Parade, July 24, 1898".  In this article from the Deseret News, it says that when the Wells Fargo Building was constructed in 2004 it replaced "an older two-story Wells Fargo bank and two abandoned buildings and a small men's suit shop."  Since I moved to Provo in 2004, I don't know if the buildings destroyed were the Central Buildings, but it is possible.  I couldn't find any information on the buildings besides what was attached to the photo.  Here is the second picture as it is currently found:

     You can  see the Communal building on the right hand side.  I love all of the development that is going on right now in downtown Provo, but I just hope that it doesn't come at the sake of the history that is found there.  I love the additions, but I hope that progress and history can work together rather than be put on opposing sides as they often are.  I hope that Provo continues to grow, but at the same time I hope that Center Street is kept as historical as possible.

1 comment:

  1. A 1913 wagon and wheel company! Very cool. That beats all the rumors! Love the shots you found. And how awesome are you to follow up and do this blog post. THANK YOU!