Record editorial: Opening of iconic farm is opportunity to connect to Park City’s heritage
For decades, Parkites and visitors alike have been drawn to the McPolin Farm, where the iconic white barn and expansive open space that surrounds it welcome people to Park City.
To many, the pastoral scene symbolizes Park City every bit as much as world-famous Main Street or the majestic mountains that rise above our community. And while people have long treasured ambling up to the barn to admire its outside and recreating on the acreage it sits on, the inside of the structure has, with exceptions, been off limits.
But there’s good news for people who want a closer look: That’s about to change.
The Park City Planning Commission last week voted to open the city-owned barn to the public on a limited basis, a move that comes after a 2016 renovation addressed long-standing concerns about the safety of the structure.
It’s sure to please the folks who are passionate about Park City’s history. A dairy farm operated on the land for decades, and the barn remains perhaps the most well-known historic building in Summit County. Others should rejoice, as well, because the opening of the barn brings an opportunity to more fully appreciate a Park City landmark and celebrate the bygone era that it represents.
The significance of the farm, which links modern Park City with its agricultural heritage, is why city leaders purchased the property in the 1990s to preserve the barn and block development on the land. Nearly 30 years later, it remains a decision for which Parkites are grateful each time we drive by on S.R. 224 or glide across the land in the winter on cross-country skis. And now, we’ll get to experience the McPolin Farm in a new way.
We likely won’t have to wait long for the experience. Parkites may get to check out the interior of the barn as early as July, when the first of three days of tours this summer is tentatively scheduled. The tours, which are part of a pilot program, count toward a total of 12 public events the city is now allowed to hold at the site each year.
Hopefully there will be plenty of enthusiasm for the tours, enticing officials to add more to the calendar on an ongoing basis. The McPolin Farm is part of our history and an icon, and we look forward to celebrating it for years to come.
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The Olympics would be a great opportunity for Summit County to tap into federal dollars for the benefit of infrastructure improvements, but it’s unclear if the county will have any influence on the bid committee.