Park City Museum honors area’s historic structures
May 22, 2015
For the past week, Park City Museum volunteers have been placing ribbons on all the historic structures in the area.
These buildings include private residences, businesses and even abandoned and crumbling garages and mines, said Sandra Morrison, executive director of the Park City Museum.
"Deterioration doesn’t affect the historic significance of a structure," Morrison told The Park Record. "Many of these buildings are waiting for the right person with the resources, capacity and love to come along."
Most of the ribbons are red, white and blue, but structures that the volunteers think are well-preserved are awarded a special, gold ribbon, Morrison said.
"These ribbons show that we think the owners have done an exceptional job of maintaining their buildings," she said. "Obviously this takes more work than what is required of new homes. "
There are 10 buildings that were given a gold ribbon this year.
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Gold ribbon or not, Morrison said all of the historic structures deserve recognition.
"There are somewhere around 500 buildings that will have ribbons," she said. "These include out buildings as well. So, the volunteers will go hiking and put the ribbons on the historic mining buildings, because these are all part of Park City’s history.
The big thing about this project is that we want to recognize each and every part of the buildings that are still with us.
"We’re so thankful to the property owners and their dedication to maintaining and restoring their historic homes and commercial buildings," Morrison said. "To own a historic building, you have to love history and what the building represents. So, we talk with the homeowners and building owners as we hang up the ribbons and they appreciate that we recognize their commitment. Maintaining a building is constant work."
Finding the buildings takes some research, according to Morrison.
"We follow the Historic Sites inventory that the city adopted back in 2009, but we have found some structures that aren’t on that list," she said. "We recently discovered one on Woodside that wasn’t inventoried. It is now and we’ve included it in our annual Historic Home Tour in the summer."
In addition, the Historic Preservation Board found some garages that were recently put on the list, Morrison said.
"Some of these buildings that we recognize were built when Park City was first established," she explained. "The oldest structures are dated back to the 1880s. I don’t think we have anything surviving from the 1870s or earlier, because even the old mining structures were replaced by newer technology."
Many buildings in the town’s Historic District were lost in the Great Fire of 1898, but all the buildings on Upper Main and Daly Avenue have survived, Morrison said.
"In fact, Daly Avenue was where some of the first settlements in Park City were built because of the opening of the Judge Tunnel," she said. "That meant miners didn’t have to go all the way to Silver Lake or up into the mountains to get to their jobs. They could travel via man cars through the tunnel to get to work."
The Park City Museum, which is run by the Park City Historic Society, considers any building that was built 50 years ago to be historic.
"There’s an A-frame on Park Avenue that got a ribbon this year," Morrison said.
Park City Museum volunteers have been placing ribbons on historic structures for more than 20 years.
"The area is mostly in the Park City limits, but we also go out as far as McPolin Barn, because that was instrumental in the mining era as well," Morrison said. "The farm, being a dairy and cattle ranch, was vital in keeping the town going in regards to its economy.
"We also go up into the Thaynes Canyon, California Comstock and into Deer Valley," she said. "This is what makes Park City different than other ski and tourist towns. Our mining history is represented. Not only do we have the small miners cottages, but also the larger historical structures that dot the mountains."
Morrison said the ribbons help visitors and newer residents learn about Park City’s history.
"Hopefully, these ribbons will intrigue people to learn more and visit the museum," she said. "And if anyone is interested to volunteer to place ribbons on historical structures in and around Park City, contact the Park City Museum."
Volunteers travel in pairs with a bag of ribbons.
"I do know that we have 40 structures on Daly Avenue and 50 buildings near Norfolk Avenue and Empire Avenue that need ribbons," Morrison said. "So, if anyone wants to help, they can."
For more information about the Park City Museum’s historic building project, visit http://www.parkcityhistory.org . To volunteer, call 435-649-7457.
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