High West restoration might be toasted with a piece of art | ParkRecord.com

High West restoration might be toasted with a piece of art

The Historic Preservation Board, the City Hall panel with some influence in building designs in Old Town, wants to honor High West Distillery as the first recipient of an award to mark the redo of a historic property.

The panel discussed the matter at a recent meeting, but some decisions were not made. Historic Preservation Board members indicated they wanted to revisit the topic at a meeting in mid-June.

But there was some discussion about commissioning an artist to create a work to honor the redo, perhaps to hang at the Marsac Building. There was also talk about rewarding the distillery with a plaque.

Roger Durst, a member of the Historic Preservation Board, said it could cost upward of $600 to commission an artist for a painting of the distillery.

High West Distillery opened after an extensive renovation of what was widely known as the Watts property. It sits on Park Avenue close to the bottom of the Town Lift. City Hall, which once owned the property, sold it to the figure who opened High West Distillery. The property now operates as a distillery and a restaurant-bar.

High West Distillery is among the most iconic of Park City’s historic properties, encompassing what had been a house and a garage before the distillery refurbished the buildings.

The Historic Preservation Board at the recent meeting did not decide what the honor will be named. City Attorney Mark Harrington, meanwhile, cautioned that the Historic Preservation Board must fairly decide which artist to commission for the work, and it was mentioned that City Hall’s Public Art Advisory Board could be involved.

One of the members of the Historic Preservation Board, David White, said he would prefer a different artist be selected each year if the award is instituted and then is given out annually.

The High West Distillery renovation, completed in late 2009, has been widely praised for its preservation work.

City Hall has for years seen itself as a champion of preservation, providing financial incentives to people to restore historic buildings and completing several high-profile renovations of municipal buildings like Miners Hospital, the Park City Library and Education Center and the Marsac Building.

Park City leaders, meanwhile, support an extensive program of putting pieces of art in public places, including large sculptures, murals and paintings.

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