William Sandstrom built this two-story frame and adobe commercial building in 1911. The first floor operated as a pool hall with a dance hall above. Later in the century, it was operated as a grocery store. It also served as the post office and, during the 1930s, had a WPA library on the upper floor. At one time it was occupied by the Dahl family.
Located at 37 N Main St in Spring City, Utah
William Sandstrom (1877-1911) built this two-story adobe-lined, wood frame commercial building about 1911. The first floor operated as a pool hall with a dance hall above. After Sandstrom’s death, James W. Blain ran a grocery store here and in the teens it was the post office. It also served as a bicycle shop, WPA library, and Dahl’s Grocery.*
The Sprague Branch of the Salt Lake City Public Library, built in 1928 by prominent local architects, Ashton and Evans, in the Jacobethan Revival style, is significant under Criterion A for its contribution as a community and educational facility to the history of the Sugar House business district. The original Sprague Branch of the Salt Lake City Public Library in Sugar House was established in 1914 and it is been an essential part of the community life of the Sugar House area. This particular building has provided a community gathering place for the people of the area and is a local architectural landmark. For this reason it is also significant under Criterion C. The Jacobethan Revival style building is the best example of its kind in the district and one of the best in the entire city, and has been well maintained. It has recently (2001) undergone an interior renovation with a sympathetic underground addition. However, the building retains its historical and architectural integrity. The Sprague Branch is being nominated as part of a multiple property submission, Sugar House Business District Multiple Resource Area under the context, “A City Within A City, 1910-1954.”
The first Sprague branch of the Salt Lake City Public Library in Sugar House was located at 1065 (also 1085) East 2100 South (now demolished) in rented quarters in the center of the business district. Its opening in 1914 coincided with the paving of the surrounding streets (1100 East, Highland Drive and 2100 South) and the installation of sewer and gas lines in the Sugar House district. The branch was created after repeated requests to the city from citizens of the Sugar House area. It was named for Joanna H. Sprague, an early head of the Salt Lake City public library, who spoke at the opening ceremonies. She began her work in Salt Lake City in 1898, the same year that the library was established, and oversaw the beginnings of the city branch library system during the forty-four years that she was associated with the city library. She earned a national reputation in her profession and was named president of the Pacific Northwest Library Association in 1928. The Sprague branch library was heavily used from the beginning with much community support, and its success spawned the current building.
The Salt Lake City Council and the Sugar House Businessmen’s League were influential in the construction of the new branch building in 1928 on land that had been part of the Sugar House Park and donated by the city to the library. An effort was made during the design of the building to have the exterior “fit the park surroundings” and to not be of the “usual and conventional style.”4 In 1933 the American Library Association declared the Sprague branch of the Salt Lake City Public Library the most beautiful branch library in America.
The Sugar House community heavily uses the library. It is one of the busiest branches of the Salt Lake City Public Library system. Salt Lake Magazine readers voted it the “best sanctuary on Sunday” in 1999 for its reading room and relaxing atmosphere. Statewide, the Utah Heritage Foundation recognized it for the quality of its 1990 renovation and restoration. The Sugar House Community Master Plan refers to the Sprague Library as “a long-standing community gathering place.” The building retains its historic integrity and contributes to the historic quality of the Sugar House Business District.
The Sprague Branch of the Salt Lake City Public Library was built in 1928 a half block south of the center of the Sugar House commercial district at 1100 East and 2100 South. It is constructed in the Jacobethan Revival style of brick masonry with the main gable roofline running north/south and cross gables to the east (reading room) and west (entrance vestibule and stairs). Its property boundary on the northwest is Parley’s Creek, currently underground in a conduit, and the parking lot of the Sugar House Commons shopping center.
The building is a colorful combination of brick, stone, terra cotta, cast concrete, and slate with a rock-faced ashlar sandstone foundation in a pale buff color. The striated brick laid in an English bond ranges in tones from red to brown and the terra cotta accents are pale ivory. The slate roofing varies in color with predominant tones of grays, blues, and purple. The main entrance to the library is on the west facing 1100 East through a raised entrance vestibule under a small gable. A larger west-facing gable section has triple casement windows. Each window is tall and narrow with twelve rectangular lights, metal muntins and mullions, and wooden sash. A three-sided bay section to the south on the facade has the same windows. Half-timbering fills the tops of the north and south gable ends.
The first floor interior has coved ceilings and an open plan with the stacks in the north area, a reference desk and the main circulation desk in the central room and a smaller reading room and staff work area to the east. The interior space retains the open area with the high coved ceilings of the initial library space. The basement of the original building has more stack area, a large children’s section, and public rest rooms.
Efforts have been made over the years to maintain and improve the building beginning in 1954 with work on the foundation and continuing with interior renovation in 1971. A 1989-90 remodeling project done by Brixen and Christopher, Architects, for $405,000 using LSCA and Salt Lake City Public Library funds, stabilized the foundation, removed asbestos, added a rear entry/ handicapped access, installed an elevator, replaced lighting throughout, installed energy efficient heating and cooling systems, upgraded the electrical system, insulated the attic, and did other improvements.
Renovations completed in the spring of 2001, again by Brixen and Christopher, for $939,000l , included improvements to the children’s area and the reading room on the main floor as well as the addition of a new community meeting room and staff office space in the newly excavated basement area with a leaded glass and copper skylight pyramid on the east plaza. The plaza serves as the roof of the addition and provides an outdoor gathering space to the east of the building. The new eastern entrance is in a sympathetic style, using the same materials as the original building. The copper clad skylight pyramid with leaded glass complements the building.
The building faces west, set back from the street, on 1100 East in a landscaped lot with mature trees and concrete walks leading to the oak doors at the raised entrance. The library retains its original appearance from the traditional entrance on 1100 East. The Sprague Branch library makes a significant contribution to the historic character of the Sugar House business area.
Built in 1928 at 1255 Park Avenue, this was Park City High School until the new high school on Kearns Blvd was built in 1981. This is now the city library.
During the 2002 Olympics the top two floors were Norway House, housing the King and Queen of Norway and many Norwegian athletes, officials and business people. A Norwegian restaurant and display area were open to the public. Next door in the Library Park monster.com built a giant snow maze for children.
The Kanab Library was built between 1939 and 1940 as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project. The library is one of 226 buildings constructed in Utah under the WPA and is important in documenting the impact of New Deal programs in the state. Utah was one of the most severely affected states during the Depression, having a 25 percent average unemployment rate during the era. For this reason, the state was ninth among the 48 states for per-capita federal spending.
Although the Kanab Library was founded in 1915, it was not at first housed in a permanent structure but was rather moved around to various temporary accommodations. In 1938, an $8,000 bond election was approved to build a permanent library, and plans drawn by the architect Carson F. Wells were acquired from the city of Salina, which had just constructed a library, The Kanab Library is basically identical to the Salina building and combines features of both the Prairie School and Art Deco styles. Wells’s design combines a symettrical facade with abstract geometrical embellishments which tones down the rigidly formal appearance of the building.
From its early beginnings in 1896, the White Rock School Building has occupied a prominent place in Elsinore. The building was constructed 23 years after Mormon converts from Scandinavia established Elsinore in 1873. The school was the community educational center as well as a place for social and religious gatherings.
Construction of the building commenced in 1896 and was completed in 1898. The white rock was quarried from a mountain 12 miles southeast of Elsinore near the Piute-Sevier county line. The quarried rock was transported by wagon from the quarry to the construction site. Most of the freighters were only able to make one trip per day but N.P. Anderson, a Dane, became the exception by making two trips each day.
John Marinus Johnson, a stone cutter and mason trained in America, contracted to build the school according to plans prepared by architect T.T. Davis. The stone work done by Johnson and his sons exemplify a remarkably high quality of stonework.
Most of the able bodied men of Elsinore participated in the construction of the School. Carl and Hans Johnson, Niels Anderson were the blacksmiths on the project. Peter “Wheelmaker” Christensen, a wheelmaker by trade, kept the rock bearing wagons in repair. Tenders and mud mixers were Ras Nielson, Chris “Cute” M. Anderson, Hans Johnson, Jim Hermansen, Fred Lott, and Chris Christiansen. Chris Christopherson did a great deal of the brick work, including the chimney. The carpenters were Christian Canutson and James “Black Jim” P. Hansen.
In 1980, 10-year-old Jason Hardman petitioned Elsinore’s mayor for permission to open a library. The library was initially set up in the basement of the town’s public school (the historic town hall building), with 1,000 books. Hardman became the librarian, making him the youngest librarian in the United States. By 1982, the library had 10,000 volumes, which largely came from donations. By 1985, it had 17,000 volumes.
Elsinore Community Center
This Community Center, like most of its counterparts in Utah’s small predominantly Mormon communities, is the social center of the area. It also houses the town’s library.
Salt Lake City Public Library / Hansen Planetarium
Dedicated October 27, 1905
Built of Sanpete Limestone with a donation from John A. Packard, Tintic Mining District Millionaire.
Designed by Heins & Lefarge of New York.
Planetarium established 1965 as a memorial to George T. Hansen by his wife.
The Ladies Literary Society is responsible for the construction of the Salt Lake City Public Library Building. These women promoted Utah’s first tax for the support of public libraries in 1898. They then convinced mining millionaire John Q. Packard to donate both the land and funds for constructing the state’s first public library building.
The Salt Lake City Public Library Building is a good example of the Beaux Arts Style architecture. This style, which combines classical motifs with elaborate decorative elements, was popular for large public buildings at the turn of the century. Look for the library’s ornate stone gable and two-story entrance pavilion.
I took the above 3 photos in 2007, below are photos I took in 2019.
The Mr. and Mrs. George T. Hansen Planetarium, Space Science Library, and Museum, formerly the Salt Lake City Public Library, is worthy of designation as a cultural site on the basis of its architectural merit, and as a historic site because it is the only building remaining in Salt Lake City that records the philanthropic urge for community improvement that characterized turn of the century America.
considered a necessary asset to a civilized community. In 1850 the Territory of Utah quickly accepted a federal appropriation for the establishment of a territorial library, and appointed William C. Staines (builder of the Devereaux House, Salt Lake City’s first mansion and a National Register site) as the territorial librarian. The territorial library was intended to be both a law library and a general public library, and served as such for a period of years. Eventually the collection was divided up, with the general books going to the library of the University of Deseret and the law books remaining as the Utah Library.
Efforts were made to promote public lending libraries accessible to the public, and the Seventies’ Library functioned for this purpose for a number of years. When this service faltered, a number of private lending libraries sprang up in the city to provide the only library service available to Salt Lake City for many years.
Ladies Literary Society of Salt Lake City, and by the Masonic Order who were interested in promoting libraries to assist in educating Mormons out of their peculiar beliefs. It was the Ladies Literary Society, however, who were successful in promoting a bill in the territorial legislature in 1898 permitting a tax levy for the support of public libraries in the state. Salt Lake City moved to take advantage of this provision and created a free public library, purchasing first the library holdings of the Pioneer Library owned by the Grand Lodge of Utah. For $1,400 the city acquired a library worth $24,000. The facility was installed in the City and County Building (a National Register site) and attention was immediately turned to acquiring some more permanent location. Again the Ladies Literary Society came to the rescue by persuading the eccentric and retiring mining millionaire, John Q. Packard, to donate both land and capital for the construction of a public library building.
The combination of a crusading group of progressive upper-class women and a millionaire eager to fulfill his obligations within the Gospel of Wealth was not unique in Salt Lake City. it was a scenario common to that era of the nation’s history. But while many cities have numerous examples of such public magnificence, it was comparatively rare in Salt Lake City … and the present building is certainly the only one of its nature left in the city. Fittingly when the public use of the library demanded a larger facility, the old library was rescued by a generous donation in the spirit of John Q. Packard. The new donors gave the city $400,000 to renovate the building for use as a planetarium.
Described at the time of its completion as “a combination of the Doric and Ionian styles of architecture,” the Salt Lake Public Library is a three story, rectangular gabled hip roof structure with a two story entrance pavilion, constructed of oolite limestone from Sanpete County. The Beaux-Arts Classical library was designed by Hines and LaFarge of New York City (architects of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine), with Frederick A. Hale the supervising local architect.
The front facade is five bays wide with a heavy moulded cornice between the second and third floors. The first and second floor window openings are slightly recessed in arched frames. The wide eaves of the slightly flared roof are supported by very large modillion brackets. The roofline is broken by a large carved stone gable with a center arched window and four decorated pilasters. The two-story balustraded entrance pavilion end walls are curved to follow the radius of the spiral staircases at both ends of the entrance foyer. Four attached columns divide the entrance facade into three bays with double oak doors. (The center doors have been replaced by a large fixed sheet of glass, and the center part of the steps has been replaced with a fountain.) The interior of the entrance pavilion, done in golden oak, is entirely intact. A mezzanine has been added recently above the second floor for exhibits and demonstrations. Millwork for the additions was done by Fetzer’s, Inc., the same firm that did the original millwork in 1904. The open trusses and tongue-and-groove ceiling are visible above the new mezzanine. Architect for the additions was Wesley Budd.
The following description of the building was published by the Salt Lake Herald at the time of its dedication:
“The library stands on State street, just south of the Alta club, on high ground with lawns sloping from the building in all directions. …
“The building is of white oolite from Sanpete vally, the stone lending itself admirable to the form and dignity of the structure. The main entrance is in three parts opening on the hallway, from which rise the two broad ample stairways to the lecture hall above. Entrance to the east from this hallway leads to the main floor of the reading room, a commodious, sunny room, furnished with all modern conveniences. In the central part of this stands the librarian’s desk or counter, which is of solid steel with a top of golden oak to match the finishing of the interior. In the southeast corner of the room is a small apartment shut off with glass for the chief librarian, so arranged that all parts of the reading room are under supervision.
“Behind this is the stack room, or place for the books. The room is fitted with rows and rows of steel shelving of the latest design, so arranged in units that each small shelf may be readily detached and, if need, be removed. …
“The main auditorium on the upper floor has seats to accommodate 350 persons. It is finished like the remainder of the building, and is built for a gallery to extend around three sides. This gallery is not yet completed, but the building is so planned that the heavy steel bolts which hold it together will support this addition when the time comes to provide it. A good-sized platform extends outward from the east wall into the auditorium, making an ideal place for small lectures or recitals.” (Salt Lake Herald, October 27, 1905.)