Park City hotel, old and decrepit, will be torn down shortly
March 9, 2019
Park City officials are monitoring the decrepit Star Hotel on Main Street as the heavy snow continues and said the roof does not appear to be in danger of an imminent collapse as a result of the weather in the weeks before the historic building is expected to be torn down.
Bruce Erickson, the planning director at City Hall, said the Park City Building Department continues to track the amount of snow that has collected on the Star Hotel. He said there is a potential of the roof collapsing inward under the weight of the snow and ice. The National Weather Service forecast calls for the possibility of additional snow through the middle of the week.
The owner, a firm called Hofmann Properties, LC, plans to take down the Star Hotel shortly. Erickson said the work is expected to start in the next month. City Hall and the owner continue to discuss logistical details, such as where a Dumpster will be placed. He said the work will likely be undertaken with a backhoe rather than a wrecking ball. Some materials like stones from the foundation will be preserved and incorporated into a new development.
The Historic Preservation Board, a City Hall panel with duties related to Old Town building designs, on Wednesday evening reviewed the plans for the Star Hotel. The board members approved the reconstruction of a small historic house as part of the overall work. The Star Hotel was incorporated into the small historic house decades ago. The panel also approved a material deconstruction of the west wall of the small historic house as well as a 68-square-foot addition to that wall.
The Historic Preservation Board did not receive testimony prior to the vote and members did not spend extensive time on the matter. Lola Beatlebrox, a Historic Preservation Board member, said the project tells a story and said she is "pretty darned excited."
Erickson in an interview said the project was modified during the discussions between the developer and City Hall, describing officials as being pleased with the outcome. He said the developers at an earlier point sought to remove the small historic house and the back of the Star Hotel in favor of a major addition. The discussions resulted in a project entailing the full restoration of the Star Hotel, the full restoration of the small historic house and a small addition.
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Erickson said he is proud of the work of the City Hall planners assigned to the project and he credited the Star Hotel ownership for pursuing the current plans rather than the earlier ones.
The timing of the teardown of the Star Hotel has been fluid for months. It appeared in December the building could be taken down in early January, but the work was delayed as an especially busy stretch of the ski season neared with the Sundance Film Festival followed by the FIS World Championships in freestyle disciplines.
The Historic Preservation Board and Park City Board of Adjustment previously voted to maintain the Star Hotel's designation as a significant building as part of an inventory of historic sites kept by the municipal government. Owners cannot tear down buildings included in the inventory under most circumstances. Park City officials later agreed to allow the demolition based on the dilapidated condition and the danger to the public.