The Park city Mining District, Utah, from its beginnings in the 1860s, quickly rose to a place of prominence among the nation’s silver producers. Large corporate interests and entrepreneurs aided in developing the area into such a position. Of equal importance, however, was the labor force which provided the miners and various skilled positions necessary to operate the industry.
The Park City Miner’s Hospital is located at 1354 Park Avenue in Park City, Utah and was added to the National Historic Register (#78002697) on December 8, 1978.
With miners came organized labor. Western metal miners banded together to form the Western Federation of Miners in 1893. In October 1901 Local No. 144 in Park City was formed. As all labor organizations, the Park City Union was formed by workers who sought, as a collective body, better wages, safe working conditions, and various benefits deemed necessary in the performance of their occupations. The early history of labor is marked by “reform;” that is, the attempt to redress grievances against mining companies and their modes of operating.
Health concerns ranked of paramount interest both to the miners and the community. Isolated from urban areas, Parkites had to be treated at Salt Lake City hospitals. Such a journey of approximately thirty miles induced many hardships, especially in winter months. Miners also objected to the automatic withdrawal of money from their pay which was sent to Salt Lake hospitals, where they felt treatment was not satisfactory.
Spurred by the union, a project was launched in December 1903 to fund a local hospital for the Park. The effort represented a significant form of mutual cooperation, in a social humanitarian field, between miners’ union and local residents. The union meeting in December resulted in a resolution being passed that called for the formation of a company by a committee appointed by the union. This company was to have a capital stock of $20,000 divided into 2,000 shares at the par value of $10.00 per share, with both union and non-union members able to subscribe. However, upon any future sale of the stocks, they were to be transferred only to the Park City Miners Union No. 144. The union acted only as a shareholder, the hospital to be run by the company.
The subscription proved a success as newspaper reports attested to the cooperation of individuals and business houses of the city. Mrs. Edza Nelson donated an acre of ground known as Nelson Hill, upon which to erect the building. This site, located just north of the city, was selected because of its distance both from city noises and dangers of fire, as well as the most suitable spot to insure the maximum of sunshine and fresh air.
Plans and specifications were prepared by Harry Campbell, contractor, and ground was broken in April 1904. Work progressed and by October 1, 1904, the hospital reached completion. Furniture and furnishings were received by various fraternal and social organizations and individuals, adding to the cooperative character of the venture. Dedication services were largely attended, with representatives of several religious denominations offering preservations, and highlighted by an address by Colonel William M. Ferry.
The Park City Miners Hospital now stands as a commercial property, but its significance lies in its place as a social humanitarian cooperative venture between a local of the Western Federation of Miners, a union characterized as radical in nature, and the Park City community. During the 1903-1904 period the W.F.M. embroiled itself in a turbulent strike in Colorado, suffering the stigma of radicalism, while at the same time initiation the building of a community hospital in Park City. Thus, the hospital aids in understanding the union’s complete efforts in the field of labor reform, as well as the cooperative effort necessary to attain its completion.
The Kimball Hotel Stage Stop and Barns remain as one of the few remaining original stations of the Overland Stage. It later served also as a station for both the Holladay Stage Line and the Wells Fargo Express Company. Finally, the condition, particularly the exterior, of the stage stop and hotel is excellent, as are the log portions of each of the barns, and the setting retains much of its isolated flavor.
Located at 318 Bitner Road in Park City, Utah and added to the National Historic Register (#71000855) on April 16, 1971.
The area of Parley’s Park was first explored in 1848 by Parley P. Pratt for whom it was named. Pratt built a road through Parley’s Canyon the Golden Pass Toll Road in 1849-1850, By the 1860’s traffic through the area was quite extensive. Consequently, William H. Kimball, eldest son of Heber C. Kimball, counsellor and confidant of Brigham Young, built the Hotel and Stage Stop in 1862. He also constructed a bridge across Kimball Creek a few hundred yards west of the station. In 1865 Kimball was given a permit to collect a toll of 25¢ on all freighters, but this was revoked about nine months later.
The hotel was famous for its dinners of trout, wild duck, sage hen, beef, or mutton prepared by Mrs. Melissa Coray Kimball. When she moved into Salt Lake City a second wife, Martha Vance, took her place. Guests of note included Horace Greeley, Walt Whitman and Mark Twain.
Kimball finally received patent to the land in 1873. From him and his family the property passed to Brigham Sellers in 1902. Sellers sold it to Milton O. Bitner in 1908. The Bitner family have used it in their livestock operations since that time. Much of the integrity of this historic district remains. Plans for its restoration and development are being made.
The Kimball Hotel, Stage Stop and Barns set next to Kimball Creek in beautiful Parley’s Park, The two-story hotel was built of red and buff sandstone in a modified T form. It served primarily as a hotel, Mr. Kimball had bedroom facilities on the main floor, on the second floor, and probably in the attic as well. The main dining room on the east side, downstairs, boasted a bar to “slack the thirst of tired travelers, “apparently a profitable side benefit to the station. In addition, the store was operated in the east room entered only from the outside. It also housed a post office for a time.
The main structure remains in good condition, modifications have been made on the interior, enlarging the back room into a kitchen, making a living room out of two bedrooms downstairs, and enlarging the bedrooms on the second floor. Fortunately the doors and windows, except for glass panes that have been replaced, are original. The lock on the front door is reported to have cost $11.20 originally. The total price for the station has been given as about $10,000 when it was built. Apparently culinary water was supplied from a well located at the southwest corner of the hotel.
Across the road to the north sets one of two remaining log barns. The basic frame of logs rising to the first story are original. The roof is new and has been modified from a gabled to a gambrel or “Barn” roof. A second log barn, also built in the early 1860’s, sets to the northwest. It has a gabled roof of more recent vintage, resting on the still-standing log frame.
Corrals have been built around these structures for use by the Bitner Land and Livestock Company. However, in general, the flavor of the old Station in this beautiful setting remains.
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.
Although the mining community of Park City began in the 1870s, it was not until 1895 that plans for the construction of this LDS Church were formulated. In 1897 construction on a meeting house was started and apparently completed that year. However, the church was burned in the great fire of June 19, 1898, which destroyed many of Park City’s buildings. Rebuilt in 1899, this building was formally opened for services on March 18, 1900. An addition was made to the rear between 1926-1930 and in 1938 work commenced on the amusement hall. The building served as a meeting house until 1962.
The LDS Park City Meetinghouse is located at 424 Park Avenue in Park City, Utah and was added to the National Historic Register (#78002696) on May 22, 1978.
The Park City Mining District dates to a beginning in 1868, with the discovery and location of various claims, among the more important were those by Rufus Walker and Ephraim Hanks. The discovery of ores and organized mining efforts in Utah is credited to the efforts of Col. Patrick E. Connor and his men, a group of California and Nevada volunteers, sent to Utah by the Secretary of War in 1862 to “watch” the Mormons and protect the Overland Mail. Connor’s men included many who were veterans of the California and Nevada mining fields. As such, the men, in passing their time, prospected the mountains in search of precious metals. When the first discoveries were made in the Park City area, Connor’s men were among those active in the vicinity.
In 1872, the discovery of the Ontario mine started Park City’s establishment as one of the West’s richest silver camps. Other operations such as the Daly Mining Company, also contributed to the district’s reputation. Mining in Utah for precious metals was promoted and advanced primarily by “Gentiles”; that is, non-Mormons. Irish influence was very pronounced and from the outset, Park City was a “Gentile Camp”.
Opposition to Mormons in Park City appeared very intense. In 1886 an organization known as the “Loyalty Legion” allegedly wrecked the home of an individual named (Gad) Davis, leader of the city’s Mormons. Additionally, the group encouraged mining companies not to hire Mormon miners. A “ban” existed for approximately seven years, when in 1894, church leaders prevailed upon the mining companies to employ Mormon miners. This coincided with the movement of Mormon entrepreneurs into mining ventures all over the state.
Church membership grew and meetings were held at Roy’s grocery store on Main Street. In 1894 Margaret D. Mason deeded lots 26 and 27, block 10 to the Trustees of the Park City branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, reserving for herself the rear fifteen feet of property for a consideration of $600.00. At a business meeting held at Park City on March 3, 1895 and attended by President William W. Cluff, a committee of three consisting of Frederick Rasband, Orvis J. Call, and George W. Curtis, was appointed to select a building site on which to erect a meeting house. In August, 1895, a building committee comprised of Thomas L. Alien, John Adamson, Frederick Rasband, Hugh Reid, and Fred Thompson, was selected for the erection of the church.
Sources indicate that in 1896, $1,136.19 was raised for the new meeting house. Work continued on the building in 1897 with nearly $1,200 having been raised. On March 1, 1897, the basement was completed to the extent that it was used for a priesthood meeting., A second meeting was held there in April, with Charles Rasband replacing George W. Curtis as branch clerk. The meeting house was destroyed by fire June 19, 1898 the “Great Fire” destroyed many of Park City’s structure on the upper main street area.
Action to remedy the problem was quickly taken. In July, Willard Sorensen and William E. Potts were elected trustees to hold the deeds to the Church property. By September, 1898, the building committee previously chosen was reorganized with Thomas L. Alien, Chairman, William E. Potts, secretary and James R. Glade, treasurer. This committee took the necessary steps for the erection of a new structure.
Construction commenced approximately in 1899 and the finished portion of the two-story structure was formally opened for use on Sunday, March 18, 1900 and consisted of the assembly area. The main room was 40 ft. by 40 ft. and 18 ft. high with two vestry rooms, 11 ft. by 16 ft. and 11 ft. by 14 ft. respectively. At the March meeting a silver sacrament service was presented to the branch by the Relief Society with numerous visitors attending and a formal address presented by Apostle George Teasdale.
In 1925 Margaret D. Mason deeded the rear 15 feet of lots 26 and 27, block 10 to the Park City Church. During the following year, steps were taken to construct a 30 foot addition to the rear of the building which was completed between 1926 – 1930. By 1938, work commenced on the Ward Amusement Hall in the lower level of the structure.
The church remained as the meeting house until 1957 when church members voted to build a new chapel at a cost of $114,000. In December, 1962, the new church was dedicated. The old structure was in private hands until 1976 when it was purchased by it present owner.
Thus, the church was the first chapel of the LDS Church in Park City, rebuilt after the 1898 fire. Its wood Gothic style renders the structure as a rare “existing” example of this style utilized by the LDS Church. In fact, the use of the frame Gothic style for a meeting house dates to the turn of the century and the Park City and Eureka chapels remain the only significant examples of the frame type. In addition, the Park City meeting house is the largest frame structure existing in the town that dates back to the conflagration of 1898.
This structure represented the culmination of years of struggle by the Mormon community in a “Gentile” camp and has served a basic function in tending to the religious needs of the Park City Mormon population. In 1976, the Park City Council designated the structure as a historic building.
This gothic style brick church was constructed in 1899 by P. Anderson & Company for the First Congregational Church of Park City. Established in Park City in 1879. The Congregationalists joined with the Park City Methodist Church in 1919 under the direction of the Home Missions Council to form the Park City Community Church.
Park City Community Church
The original church on this site was built in the 1880’s by the Congregationalists, a sect which arrived in Park City while it was still a mining camp. Congregationalists were the first to establish regular Protestant services in Utah. By 1883 they were actively proselytizing among local miners and had acquired this property to build a church.
Fire raged through Park City in June of 1898, destroying the original structure. The Pastor immediately declared intention to rebuild, making use of walls left standing after the fire. Plans for the present edifice were complete by October of 1898. The design reflects a basic Gothic style much used in religious institution of that time. Construction was delayed, however, and not completed until 1899.
The church became the Park City Community Church in 1919 when several local Protestant denominations joined congregations in an ecumenical effort. Continuous operation of this church since it was built has provided Park City with important religious, social and educational facilities.
Built in 1935-36 at 1167 Woodside Ave, the Park City High School Mechanical Arts Building is part of the Public Works Buildings Thematic Resource nomination and is significant because it helps document the impact of New Deal programs in Utah, which was one of the states that the Great Depression of the 1930s most severely affected. In 1933 Utah had an unemployment rate of 36 percent, the fourth highest in the county, and for the period 1932-40 Utah’s unemployment rate averaged 25 percent. Because the depression hit Utah so hard, federal programs were extensive in the state. Overall, per capita federal spending in Utah during the 1930s was 9th among the 48 states, and the percentage of workers on federal work projects was far above the national average. Building programs were of great importance. During the 1930s virtually every public building constructed in Utah, including county courthouses, city halls, fire stations, national guard armories, public school buildings, and a variety of others, were built under federal programs by one of the several agencies, including the Civil Works Administration (CWA), the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA), the National Youth Administration (NYA), the Works Progress Administration (WPA), or the Public Works Administration (PWA), and almost without exception none of the buildings would have been built when they were without the assistance of the federal government. Built by the Works Progress Administration and designed by Scott and Welch, the Park City High School Mechanical Arts Building is also architecturally significant as one of five buildings remaining in Park City constructed in the PWA Moderne style.
Between 1933-39 federal agencies spent nearly $300 million in federal assistance in Utah. The longest-lasting and most extensive New Deal relief program in Utah and the rest of the nation, the WPA was established in 1935 and continued until 1943. The peak of WPA employment in Utah was in the fall of 1936 when more than 17,000 Utahns were at work on WPA projects. The New Deal era programs offered not only work relief, but also provided long-term benefits to the communities and the state in the form of improved public facilities. The Mechanical Arts building in Park City is one of the 233 public works buildings identified in Utah that were built during the 1930s and early 1940s. Only 130 of those 233 buildings are known to remain today and retain their historic integrity. Of the 233, 107 were public school buildings. The Park City High School Mechanical Arts Building is one of 7 public works buildings constructed in Summit County, 6 of which remain.
Art Deco and Art Moderne buildings are the most conspicuous elements of public works architecture but are overshadowed by a large group of buildings constructed in what David Gebhard has called the PWA Moderne style. During the depression years, Gebhard writes, “architects Streamlined Moderne… These buildings were fundamentally classical and formal, but just enough Moderne details were injected to convey a contemporary Moderne feeling as well as the traditional authority of the classical.” The PWA Moderne style combines the formal symmetrical elements of the Classical roots with Art Deco and Art Moderne details such as masonry wall surfaces, metal sash, vertical molded ornamentation, and decorative parapet. Many of these buildings-schools, mechanical arts buildings, city halls-appear at first glance plain and box-like. Upon closer inspection, however, in their rigid symmetry and abstract classicism, they remain fully consistent with the stylistic impulses of the times. The Park City High School Mechanical Arts Building is one of five remaining PWA Moderne style buildings remaining in Park City.
Most public works buildings were designed by architects. The most prolific firm was Scott and Welch of Salt Lake City. Carl W. Scott and George W. Welch were both prominent Utah architects. Scott was born October 17, 1887, in Minneapolis, Kansas, and graduated in 1907 from the University of Utah with a degree in mining. He was given credit for the idea of the concrete “U” that is still above the University of Utah campus. Following graduation he began a career in architecture as a draftsman for Richard Kletting. In 1914 he became partners with George W. Welch.
Welch was born in Denver, Colorado, on May 15, 1886, graduated from Colorado College, and came to Salt Lake City to begin work as an architect. Active in political affairs while here, he was a member of the Utah House of Representatives from 1919 until 1921.
Scott and Welch designed the Salt Lake City’s Elks’ Club Building, South High School, the Masonic Temple, and many public school buildings throughout Utah including Hawthorne Elementary School and Bryant Junior high School in Salt Lake, Park City High School, Tooele High School, Blanding High School and Cedar City Elementary School. They also designed a number of commercial buildings including the Nelson Manufacturing Company Warehouse, the Nelson-Ricks Creamery Building, and the Firestone Tire Company building, all in Salt Lake City. Scott and Welch also designed and built the planned community of Copperton. Copperton was a company town built by the copper mining company, Utah Copper Company, in the 1920-30s. Included in the plan was a Bingham High School, built in 1931. Scott and Welch designed more school buildings during the 1930s than any other Utah firm.
The Park City High School Mechanical Arts building is historically related to the adjacent Park City Education Center, formerly the Park City High School (1926), and to the Marsac Elementary School (1935-36). The Mechanical Arts building was built as an addition to the high school “campus” and incorporates similar materials and detailing to “harmonize” with the adjacent High School structure. The High School was constructed in 1926-27 and renovated in 1993-94 by the City to house the library, a theater, and educational facilities.
The Park City High School Mechanical Arts Building was originally constructed in 1935-36 as a part of the same bond issue used to build the Marsac Building. Approval for funding the building was given at a bond election in Park City on October 19, 1935. Approval was overwhelming: 169 in favor and 12 opposed. The two buildings used the same architects, materials, similar styles and were constructed and dedicated at the same time. The Marsac Elementary School was fully renovated c.1985 and is in use today as Park City’s municipal offices.
At its original dedication the Park City newspaper described the Mechanical Arts Building as follows:
The high school mechanical arts shop was built at a cost of about $15,000. Like the elementary school just described and the high school built ten years ago, it is fireproof throughout. In design and material it harmonizes with the high school building. This shop is the last word in Industrial arts housing. It contains one large room for general shop classes, a drawing room, toilet and locker rooms, paint and storage room. It is equipped with tools, benches and machinery for woodwork, cold and hot metal work, and auto-mechanics. Translucent glass is used in all windows. The drawing room is equipped with individual drawing tables and stools. Other special rooms are furnished with appropriate appliances. The shop is heated from the high school heating plant.
Construction began on the Mechanical Arts Building at 1167 Woodside in the fall of 1935, was opened for use on November 15, 1936, and was officially dedicated on December 4th, 1936.
When the high school program moved to its present location in Park Meadows, the School district began using the building as a bus barn for the City school buses. It was at this time that the structure’s mezzanine and the mechanical systems were striped out to make more room for the buses, plows and storage needs. The 1995-96 restoration of the building is currently near completion and will be used for architectural offices.
In Park City’s history there were few civic and educational structures built. Accordingly, they were and are particularly significant to the community’s history. This is especially true for this structure since it was in service as a school shop as recently as 15 years ago. Many still live in Park City who grew up, took classes, and created fond memories in this building. In a city faced with the pressures of development, the preservation of historic properties as a part of the town’s promotional vision is difficult to balance. The Park City High School Mechanical Arts building retains its historic integrity and contributes to the qualities of the town.
Built in 1883, this is the oldest Catholic church and school still in use in Utah. Remodeled in 1950 following severe damage by fire.
Marker placed January 1974 by the Park City Arts Festival Committee.
St Mary’s Catholic Church
In the late 1870’s numerous schools and churches were established through Park City – evidence that a sense of community was replacing the transient mining camp character of the town. With Irish Catholics prominent among the mining population, St. Mary’s Catholic Church was the largest local congregation.
In 1881 the original frame church and school were built. Classes were conducted by the Sisters of the Holy Cross in the basement. During July 4th celebrations in 1884 the building was destroyed by fire. Reconstruction began immediately, and by fall the two stone buildings were completed. The school operated until 1933, when enrollment had dwindled to 57 students and was expected to decline further.
St. Mary’s was gutted by fire in 1951, at a time when mines were closing and local population declining. Father William Kennedy rallied a corps of unemployed miners to reconstruct the buildings, thus assuring continuation of the Catholic organization in Park City.
St Mary’s celebrated its centennial in 1981, and is the oldest Catholic Church in the state of Utah.
In the late 1870s Park City reputation for ore deposits spread nationwide, and its accessibility was guaranteed by the arrival of the rails. Episcopalian ministers began to include the town of their missionary circuit. By the late 1880s a small but stable Episcopalian congregation was established in Park City. A church was built two blocks south of this site in 1890 but was destroyed in the disastrous fire of 1898.
At the turn of the century the Episcopalian congregation was flourishing. In 1901 a volunteer labor force was used to construct this one story, frame, rectangular chapel in a simplified Gothic style.
Reflecting the fluctuations in Park City’s population and fortunes, the church was inactive and deconsecrated from 1947 to 1960. Services resumed in 1964, but the building was dilapidated from abandonment and disuse. Interest in restoration began in 1978. Exterior elements have been carefully retained, while the interior has been modernized to serve the needs of its now thriving membership.
Built in 1935-36, the Marsac Elementary School is one of over 230 public works buildings constructed in Utah under various New Deal programs during the Depression years of the 1930s and ’40s. The construction of public works buildings, of which only 130 are extant and well preserved, not only offered temporary work relief, but also provided long-term benefits in the form of improved facilities for a variety of local public programs. The types of buildings constructed included public schools, county courthouses, city halls, libraries, National Guard armories, and a variety of others. The architects of this building were Carl W. Scott and George W. Welch, who designed numerous school buildings throughout the state, as well as a number of commercial and institutional buildings in Salt Lake City. In 1983 the building was purchased by Park City Municipal Corporation and renovated to house the city offices.
Park City, from its earliest days as a mining camp, was conscientious of the educational needs of its children. As early as 1875 private schools were established by the mining companies and churches. The Jefferson and Washington Schools were public institutions built to accommodate the burgeoning student population in the early 1900’s.
In 1936 Park City constructed Marsac School and consolidated its various schools at Marsac. Its 24,102 square feet was designed for 317 pupils. The facility served Park City’s educational system until 1979, when enrollment exceeded available space by about 40 students. Marsac School was deemed no longer viable for a modern educational program, and its structural and mechanical systems were judged to be inadequate or failing. Students were relocated to a new facility on the outskirts of Park City.
In 1983 Park City Municipal Corporation undertook an extensive renovation of Marsac School. It now houses city offices and continues to serve this rapidly growing community by providing adequate space for a consolidated, integrated system of city government and services.