Park City hotel, to be demolished, as decrepit inside as outside
The Star Hotel on the inside is even more decrepit than it looks from the outside along Main Street.
Many of the walls have been stripped to the timber. A strange mix of wooden panels, lawn chairs and furniture is strewn about. Some of the floors are covered with debris. A menu from the days when a restaurant operated inside remains posted on one of the few walls still in decent condition.
The building is in the process of being demolished, and a Friday tour with one of the figures who will have an important role in the teardown was likely one of the last opportunities to be inside. John Whiteley from J.W.W. Excavating is readying to bring down the Star Hotel next week after prep work that has stretched for approximately two weeks. The demolition is expected to start at 7 a.m. on Tuesday.
In an interview, Whiteley said two pieces of heavy machinery called trackhoes will be assigned the duty of demolishing the building. One method that will be employed involves the crew stringing cables through the building and using the heavy machinery to pull the cables as part of the takedown. The workers anticipate starting on the east side of the building.
“I’m going to bring it down on the street and clean up the street,” he said.
The crew will post flaggers on the stretch of Main Street outside the Star Hotel during the work hours, which are slated to run from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Tuesday. A full closure of Main Street outside the building is planned on Tuesday only. Trucks will be moved off the street by 11 a.m. each day afterward. Whiteley said the teardown is expected to last two weeks.
“It’s just pieces upon pieces upon pieces,” he said, adding, “It needs to be done smooth and fast.”
The teardown has been expected for months. It appeared at one point the demolition could occur prior to the Sundance Film Festival, but the work was delayed until after the festival and the heavy snows that followed Sundance. Some of the work started in March as the exterior layer of stucco was taken off with power and manual tools.
City Hall officials allowed the demolition after determining the structure is unsafe. The Park City Planning Department has indicated there was a potential of the roof collapsing inward under the weight of the snow and ice.
The Star Hotel was incorporated into a small historic house decades ago and eventually fell into the state of terrible disrepair that was visible on Friday. The teardown will allow a project to proceed that will include a building that will appear to be a full restoration of the Star Hotel, the full restoration of the small historic house and a small addition.
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It was an important decision since the rest of the talks will be heavily influenced by the processing option selected by the Planning Commission on Wednesday.