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Sugar House Monument

Sugar House Monument
Erected in recognition of the first effort made to manufacture beet sugar in Western America.

With dauntless perseverance through severe hardships the machinery was brought from Liverpool, Eng. To this place, where in 1853 the sugar mill was constructed.

May the spirit of this courageous venture continue to characterize this community.

The Old Sugar House
Home of one of the earliest efforts toward the creation of local industry in Utah.

At these crossroads in 1853-55, a structure was erected which stood for many years as a symbol of pioneer enterprise and courage. Its site was approximately two hundred feet east of this spot.

After the sugar project was abandoned, the old mill served many other useful purposes. Its life ended in 1928.

The Sugar House Mill: How Sugar House Got Its Name
This section of Parley’s Creek contributed to the creation of Sugar House as a thriving business district. Water from the creek powered a sugar mill near the corner of Highland Drive and 2100 South, which ultimately gave Sugar House its name. The mill was built in 1854 by pioneers hoping to produce white sugar from beets. The mill soon failed and by 1856 had been converted to the first paper mill successfully operated in the west. At one time, the Sugar Mill housed a machine shop for the Salt Lake and Utah Central Railway. It was later used as offices for Bamberger Coal Company until it was torn down in 1928.

S.U.P. Marker #39, Jordan & Salt Lake City Canal is located here too.

The Sugar House Monument, built in 1930, is significant under Criterion A as a local landmark and the center of the Sugar House business district. The work reflects the cohesiveness of the merchants of the Sugar House business district as it was initially commissioned by the Sugar House Business Men’s League and renovations to it were spearheaded by the Sugar House Business and Professional Women’s Club. The monument was constructed in 1930 during the “A City Within A City, 1910-1954” context to commemorate the founders of the sugar beet industry in Utah. It is also significant under Criterion C as the outstanding work of a local sculptor, Millard Malin, combined with the design of the architectural firm of Anderson and Young. The fifty-foot high shaft retains its historic and architectural integrity and is being nominated as part of the multiple property submission, Sugar House Business District Multiple Resource Area. (*)

History of the Sugar House Monument

The plaza on which the monument stands was built in 1914 as 2100 South was realigned and Parley’s Creek was buried in conduit. It was reconstructed in 1927 by the city at a cost of $5,219. 7 The plan for a monument to be located on the plaza grew out of a suggestion made by Millard Malin, a sculptor, in 1928 to the Sugar House Business Men’s League that they erect a monument to “early Utah industry”8 on the plaza in Sugar House. He also presented a proposed two-foot high model for the statue to the group. The Sugar House Business League and the City of Salt Lake built the monument in 1930, following a competition to choose the winning design. The city share of the cost was $2,000.9 The plaza was dedicated on November 11, 1934.

The Sugar House Business and Professional Women’s Club, the Sugar House Chamber of Commerce and the Salt Lake City Commission joined together to clean up and maintain the monument and plaza in 1947. The clean up effort was part of Sugar House merchants’ efforts at beautification for the centennial of the original Mormon settlers entering Salt Lake City in 1847. The Salt Lake City Engineering Department cleaned the monument itself and replaced the wooden light poles at the ends of the plaza with ornamental steel ones as well as replacing curbs and gutters as needed.

The brass bas-relief plaque at the base of the monument on the north picturing the old sugar mill was added in 1948, using funds raised by the Sugar House Business and Professional Women’s Club. Malin’s original design had the sugar mill plaque on the north and one of fur trading at the Smoot trading post that was located on the site of the monument on the south. The south plaque was never finished.

The Artists

The sculptor of the monument, Millard Fillmore Malin, was born in Salt Lake City in 1891. He studied art at the University of Utah under Edwin Evans from 1914-1915 and later enrolled at the National Academy of Design in New York. He worked under Norman A. MacNeil from 1917-1918 on a sculpture of Ezra Cornell, which is located at Cornell University. He also assisted Gutzon Borglum on the Stone Mountain Memorial in Georgia. After his move back to Salt Lake City in 1923 he concentrated his work on monumental and architectural sculptures. His sculpture is realistic and he is considered one of Utah’s most outstanding sculptors.

His most famous work is the Sugar House Monument but he also completed other public sculptures in Utah. The Utah State Capitol building houses busts of two Native Americans of the Ute tribe, Unca Sam and Chief John Duncan, and a commemorative bronze plaque for the battleship Utah honoring the victims of the Pearl Harbor bombing. From 1950-1960 he completed baptismal fonts and other works for LDS 10 temples designed by Edward O. Anderson as LDS Church architect in Los Angeles; Bern, Switzerland; London, England, and New Zealand. The Dinosaur Monument located at the Utah Field House of Natural History in Vernal, Utah, was completed in 1964. Research astronomy was Malin’s avocation and he published three titles on gravity and the solar arrangement.

After winning the competition for the monument, Millard Fillmore Malin called in Edward Oliver Anderson and his partner, Lorenzo (Bing) Young, to collaborate on the design. 11 Malin and Anderson met while they were both at the University of Utah in 1914-15 and they became lifelong friends. Edward Oliver Anderson was also born in 1891. He was involved in many building projects for the LDS Church such as the Waycross Branch in Waycross, Georgia, the North Afton Ward in Afton, Wyoming, and the Bryan Ward in Salt Lake City. Anderson was the LDS Church Architect and also served on the board of temple architects. He designed the Idaho Falls Temple in 1945 with a team of four others. This temple design began the LDS Church post-war temple-building program that increasingly utilized standard plans. He also did the three-story London Temple in 1958.

Lorenzo Snow (Bing) Young was born in 1894 in Salt Lake City, a grandson of Brigham Young, the second president of the LDS Church. He was a graduate of Pratt Institute in New York and spent forty years practicing architecture in Salt Lake City. During his career he helped to design over 300 buildings including the new Marriott Library at the University of Utah; Olympus and Highland High Schools in Salt Lake City, and the Special Events Center at Brigham Young University. He was also a member of the LDS Church Board of Architects during the construction of the Los Angeles and Idaho Falls LDS temples. Before his death in 1968 he was a partner at Young and Fowler Associates.

Anderson and Young were partners for eight years from 1928 to 1936. During this time the firm of Anderson and Young designed and constructed buildings for the LDS Church in St. George and Richfield, Utah. Other examples of their work include the Granite Stake Tabernacle and Lincoln Ward on 2005 South 900 East in 1929 2 ; the Tudor Revival Milwaukee Ward in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and the Vernal First Ward in Vernal, Utah. A notable non-ecclesiastical public building of their design is Kingsbury Hall, the University of Utah Auditorium in Salt Lake City, built in 1928 (NR, 1978).

The monument is in a simplified Art Deco style that occurred in Utah primarily from 1930-1940. The ornamentation of the Art Deco style was influenced by the 1925 Paris Exposition des Arts Decoratifs. The monument displays many Art Deco ornamental patterns, like the angular decorative geometric designs on the sides of the vertical shaft and the vertical molded patterns typical of the style. The carved Limestone bands that run horizontally along the north and south sides of the pool beds as well as two bands on the bottom section of the shaft, above the seated statues, have stylized plant and natural motifs. Malin describes the pattern used as “Double Sun.” It has a sego lily at the center and is surrounded by the sun with its corona, stars, planets and a crescent moon.

There are two massive bronze figures seated at the base facing east and west. The female figure to the east represents the fertility of the Salt Lake Valley and is modeled on Marjorie Lewis, a friend of the sculptor. The male figure is modeled on Max Croft, a stone worker who was found by the sculptor as he was heaving rocks to create the monument. He represents a mill builder and is pouring water from an urn over a wheel.

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