Architect designs speech about historic buildings |

Architect designs speech about historic buildings

TSA Architects President Tracy Stocking developed a love for building design when he was a child. He will give a presentation about historic architecture on Friday, Nov. 24.
Photo courtesy of Tracy Stocking |

As the president of TSA Architects, Tracy Stocking has made designing buildings his business.

His company has designed and worked on various projects including the University of Utah Shoreline Solar Pavilion, the Uintah Care Center and the Jordan Valley Cancer Center, to name a few. Stocking also worked with Park City Mayor Jack Thomas at Jack Thomas Architects, before going into business on his own.

Stocking will return to Park City to present a Utah history lecture about historic architecture in the state at 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 24, at The Chateaux Deer Valley, 7815 Royal Street East. The lecture, sponsored by Rebecca Marriott Champion, is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are required. RSVP by emailing Refreshments will be served.

Stocking will discuss the design of buildings that were built between 1847 to 1870.

“The predominant style was neoclassical, which were replicas of classical buildings that many of the pioneers had grown up with or seen in England or New England…” Tracy Stocking, architect

“We will talk mostly about Northern Utah, because that’s where most people started out during that time with the Mormon pioneers,” Stocking told The Park Record. “In that time frame, the predominant style was neoclassical, which were replicas of classical buildings that many of the pioneers had grown up with or seen in England or New England.”

Stocking will address the three recurring designs — Georgian, Federal and Greek Revival — of these buildings.

“The Georgian style is very symmetrical and the Federal style is very similar,” Stocking said. “Most people can’t tell the difference between the two, but they are both symmetrical with a door in the center of the building with two or three windows on either side.”

Greek Revival structures, which sported square or octagonal columns in the building’s facades, were also in abundance in and around New England before the pioneers headed west.

“I will talk about those three styles, and how they applied to homes, churches and courthouses here in Utah,” Stocking said.

The architect will also talk about the materials the pioneers used to make these buildings.

“Obviously, building materials were limited to what was available,” he said. Stocking will discuss stone foundations, stone walls and wood-framed roofs and walls.

“Back then everyone built their own homes and barns and there is a term we use called vernacular,” Stocking said. “Vernacular pertains to mostly homes that were hand-built by homeowners as opposed and architect-designed buildings.”

Many of the vernacular home builders were carpenters or shipwrights in New England, before they emigrated West.

“They brought those native skills with them,” Stocking said. “As industry grew, mills began to emerge and instead of logs, these builders were able to use milled lumber.”

Stocking will also highlight some of the intricate work in the homes and buildings that were created by woodworkers or stone masons.

“Once people began to become established, they spent a lot of love on these structures,” he said. “You can see and feel the hard work and dedication in the ornate woodwork or carved stone.”

Stocking was exposed to intricate architecture when he was a child.

“I was born in Provo, but my family moved from Utah to London, England,” he said. “We lived there for three years, and I got exposed to real historic architecture.”

Stocking remembers visiting Piccadilly Circus and many of the castles and palaces located around London.

“That probablvy had much to do with my appreciation of historic buildings,” he said.

Stocking’s own genealogy may have been instrumental in his interest in building design.

“One of my ancestors was Henry Duell, who happened to have built one of Utah’s early log cabins by his own hand,” he said. “The cabin is now on display at Temple Square, but when I was a kid, we would always go see the family cabin.”

While his current occupation doesn’t lead Stocking down the path of historic preservation, it still resonates within him.

“I went to the University of Utah to get my architect degree and graduated in 1991, and while I was there, I took some great historic architecture classes from Peter Goss and Tom Carter, the gurus of Utah architecture,” he said. “So I’ve maintained an interest.”

Thomas is looking forward to Stocking’s talk.

“I think it’s important for us to understand where we’ve been with regard to architecture and where we’re going,” he said. “I think there needs to be a connection, not a replication, but a metaphorical connection to the past.”

Thomas, who has worked on renovations on Ogden’s historic 25th Street, said historic architecture defines the present.

“Rather than us evolve to be another city with the canned architecture look, we have the opportunity to embrace the past and have the new work develop a conversation with the past,” he said. “There is a logic to the magic and a simple beauty of those historic structures, and while new architecture needs to be of its moment in time, that doesn’t mean it can’t have a connection to the historical roots we have.”

Anya Grahn, Park City Municipal’s historic preservation planner, agreed.“The souls of these historic places help make something as ordinary as a simple miner’s house appear extraordinary when you discover its history,” she said. “We are fortunate to live in a place where we value historic preservation and seek ways to preserve our historic buildings so that this history isn’t lost, but safeguarded for generations to come.”

Michelle Downard, Park City Municipal Corporation’s deputy chief building official, said preserving these structures preserves Utah’s history.

“I appreciate working in a field that assists in memorializing history through the stabilization and preservation of historic structures,” she said. “The historic structures in Utah are timeless relics that belong to the past and the people who built them. It is important to safeguard them not only for ourselves, but also for future generations and visitors to create an understanding and appreciation for our past.”

Architect Tracy Stocking will discuss historic architecture in Utah from 1847 to 1870 at 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 24, at on the Chateaux at Deer Valley, 7815 Royal Street East, as part of the The Utah History Lecture Series. The event is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are required. RVSP to


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