Monday, December 21, 2009

Preserving History in the news: UTA needs to get onboard with preservation.

taken from the Salt Lake Tribune
Written by Kirk Huffaker

UTA has a stated policy to environmental commitment on their Web site that includes broad statements such as "reduce, reuse, and recycle resources," "encourage citizen awareness and involvement in UTA's efforts to protect the environment," and "consider alternative effective solutions to environmental problems."
UTA is preparing to develop Salt Lake Central Station (the Intermodal Hub) for future growth that will come from southbound commuter rail and as many as four new light rail extensions. With all the positive emphasis on making good choices for our environment and our cities, how can it be an effective and responsible planning choice for UTA to demolish three historic buildings associated with the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad at the Intermodal Hub?
It wasn't even 50 years ago that the railroad still flourished in Utah. Of course the 1860s duel between the Union Pacific and Denver & Rio Grande railroads is legendary history that built thousands of miles of rail through the toughest land in America.
The physical reminders of this history on our landscape are both grand -- such as the Union Pacific and Rio Grande depots -- and less amazing -- such as the box culverts that carried numerous tracks over creeks and streams. But between the grand and the less amazing are incredibly important structures of the everyday man in our city, largely misunderstood and underrepresented.
These include the buildings of the Denver & Rio Grande railroad shops, round house and freight yards, all built by 1910.
As late as 1951, the workingman's section of the D&RG included a boiler/engine shop, balsam shop, round house and turntable, and two freight houses. Located between 200 and 400 South, and 600 West and I-15, this section today only includes three buildings -- one of the two freight houses and the two-building boiler/engine shop. While the south section of the freight house has been renovated into the Intermodal Hub at Salt Lake Central Station, the freight house's north section and boiler/engine shop have been targeted for demolition by its owner, UTA.

read more HERE!!

What you can do:

1) Write to UTA Director John Inglish and let him know that these buildings are crucial for the Westside of Salt Lake City, and that UTA should adhere to their environmental policy to reduce, reuse, and recycle materials through historic preservation.
John Inglish, Director
Utah Transit Authority
3600 South 700 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84119

2) Email Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and let him know that the city’s partnership to with UTA and historic preservation organizations is crucial to seeing that these important structures are adaptively reused and integrated into the Westside’s development, and that without them the Gateway Neighborhood does not become a unique destination to live in or visit for residents, commuters, or visitors.

For more information, click HERE!!!

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