Annual ribbon placements mark historic buildings in Park City |

Annual ribbon placements mark historic buildings in Park City

Throughout the late spring, Park City Museum volunteers place these black, white and red ribbons on nearly 500 historic structures in town.
Courtesy of the Park City Museum

The Park City Historical Society loves old buildings.

Each year, starting in May and continuing into June, the nonprofit, which oversees the Park City Museum, orders 500 ribbons that volunteers place on historic structures, said Sandra Morrison, Park City Museum executive director

“We put them on any building that is at least 50 years old,” Morrison said. “The buildings don’t have to be renovated. They just have to be old.”

Ribbon colors change each year.

“This year, they are black, white and red, which is significant because those are the colors of the Park City High School Miners,” Morrison said.

Museum volunteers seek out homes, commercial buildings and mining structures up on the ski resorts, she said.

“The city takes care of the historic-site inventory, and we use that as our baseline guide,” Morrison said.

Ribbons are even placed on garages.

“They are part of our history, and reflective of our changing community,” she said. “Garages show that those who lived here in the 1910s and 1920s were making good enough money to afford the new rage called automobiles. So they built garages to help protect their investments.”

All the buildings that are honored with ribbons are located within Park City limits, Morrison said. Most are in Old Town, but not all.

“We do go as far as McPolin Farm, where we put ribbons on all the structures, including the outhouse,” she said with a laugh. “And there are buildings in Park Meadows and a few in Prospector we recognize.”

Getting to some of the mining structures on the local ski resorts proved to be difficult this year because of the weather, Morrison said.

“We have a dedicated group who love to go hiking, but they have taken a bit longer this year because there is still a lot of snow up there,” she said. “Some of the trails to get to the California Comstock and Jupiter ore bins are impassable.”

The Park City Museum began hanging ribbons on historic buildings 31 years ago to celebrate Preservation Month, a time when local historical societies around the country promote their historic sites, Morrison said.

“May is officially Preservation Month, but we have found that May can become a miserable month because Park City can still be very wet, especially this year,” she said. “So we decided to continue our Preservation Month celebration into June as well.”

Morrison said she and her staff seek new volunteers each year to help with ribbon placement.

“We’ve recruited groups of neighbors who do their own street, and many groups have turned things into quite the parties,” she said. “So if anyone wants to help us next year, all they have to do is contact the museum.”

For information, call 435-649-7475 or visit

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