Park City mining-era structure suffers partial roof collapse, a threat to the building |

Park City mining-era structure suffers partial roof collapse, a threat to the building

A portion of the roof of the Silver King Mine head frame building collapsed recently. The building, located at the base of the Bonanza Express lift at Park City Mountain Resort, is one of the most recognizable silver mining-era structures remaining in the community.
Courtesy of Hope Melville

A portion of the roof of a hulking mining-era building adjacent to the Park City Mountain Resort slopes collapsed in late January, a leading figure in the community’s preservation community reported, the latest in a string of incidents over the years involving buildings or structures dating from the silver-mining heyday.

Sally Elliott, the co-chair of the Park City Museum’s Friends of Ski Mountain Mining History committee, said the collapse occurred at the head frame building of the Silver King Mine. It likely occurred on Jan. 28, she said. The Silver King Mine complex is located at the base of the Bonanza Express lift at PCMR. It is one of the largest and most prominent mining-era sites in the community.

Elliott said it appeared approximately 24 linear feet of the roof collapsed. She said the amount of snow that piled atop the building coupled with the age of the structure contributed to the collapse.

She said the collapse creates a threat of water damage inside the building. Elliott said water could now leak inside and run into the shaft itself. That increases the danger of a collapse of the shaft, Elliott said.

“A roof collapse allows water to get in,” she said.

Park City was founded in the 19th century as a silver-mining camp and the industry drove the economy through the middle of the 20th century. A steep drop in silver prices resulted in a crash in the industry, leading to the emergence of skiing as the economic driver. There are numerous mining-era locations dotting the Park City area. Some have been stabilized and preserved over the decades since they were abandoned while there has been limited work on others.

The episode in late January followed less than a year after the partial collapse of an outbuilding at the Silver King Mine complex.

The Silver King Mine closed in the 1950s and the buildings have largely been left without major work or maintenance over the decades.

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