In cities throughout the state there's a critical conversation going on about how you preserve the character of a place; that's the question at the center of a story developing in Salt Lake's Sugar House area. This week on Utah NOW we're talking about the conflict that always comes with change.
Studio guests include Soren Simonsen, a Salt Lake City Councilman, and Keith Bartholomew, an assistant professor of urban planning at the University of Utah's College of Architecture and Planning.
I just saw the show. I'm very concerned about the neighborhood and the fact that it seems inevitable that the buildings will come down. Very very sad.
Posted by Jon , Friday March 30th, 2007 @ 9:15 pm
Utah NOW and KUED regret the spelling error.
One of the fundamental commitments of Utah NOW is to reach broadly to capture a range of opinions on the issues of the day. Our essayists represent that diversity. Their contributions are designed to be thought-provoking, and may even appear confrontational. We understand that the diversity and opinions represented by our essayists can, and should, produce a reaction in our viewers.
We neither select, nor censor, their material. At the same time, their opinions are not offered as representative of KUED, the University of Utah or the staff associated with production of Utah NOW.
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Posted by Erik Nielsen, Friday March 30th, 2007 @ 10:19 pm
I was wondering how I can get a copy of this episode?
Posted by Tina Healy, Friday March 30th, 2007 @ 10:47 pm
Bill, you said you would like to see a posting on your contribution to the show, and since I am a mindless, coolaid drinker here it is.
The constant fear of an area being to homogenized is somewhat silly. The majority of buildings in a block or even a community are built at about the same time, and just because that time was in the past does not mean that they are not homogenic. Most if not all of Washington Terrace was built at the end of WWII, now those buildings are 60 years old and have had different tenants, but they are all similar. The same is true for many other smaller communities. One of the major problems with old buildings( and I know you own an old house) is they are build extremely poorly, and/or were built with very poor materials. Many of the 100 year old homes in the Sanpete Valley were built with Adobe. It is not a good structural material, so renevation or preservation is extremely difficult and thusly, very expensive. Asbestos is deadly, lead paint is poisonous, and mercury makes you crazy. With the cost of energy quaint old buildings are becoming more and more expensive to heat/c ool which in turn raises the cost to the renters, making it just as hard for small buisnesses to afford rent.
Finally, and I agree with your Wal-Mart stand, a lot of small buisnesses fall prey to a changing market. I used to love to go to Cross Western in Ogden, but their market dried up, not because of Wal-Mart or homogenized neighborhoods or even that god awful hole surrounded by a parking structure across the street, but simply because the older customers started to die off, and newer customers styles were different than those that Cross' had offered for decades.
Thank you for the opportunity
Posted by Nick Jorgensen, Sunday April 1st, 2007 @ 3:14 pm
Mr. Simonsen is missing some key things when he talks about Sugarhouse. Part of this may be due to the fact that he is relatively young and may not remember Sugarhouse prior to 20 years ago. What he terms as "authentic" is a sub-culture that has existed in Sugarhouse for maybe the past 10 to 12 years. This subculture was created by low rents associated with delapidated buildings. Low rents and delapidated buildings attract a certain type of retail tenant. This type of retail tenant that is so beloved to Mr. Simonsen has only been the "authentic" tenant in Sugarhouse for recent memory. Prior to that Sugarhouse was a major retailing location in Salt Lake with the most furniture stores in the state (Granite, South East, Rockwood and many others). It was the home of department stores like Keith O'brien and one of the best Sporting Goods stores in Utah, Stevens/Brown. In my view, that was the "authentic" Sugarhouse - not a small group of tenants that has been on short ter m leases in delapidated buildings for the past 10 years. Simonsen's definition of authentic seems to ignore the majority of Sugarhouse history.
Second, Simonsen's statement that Sugarhouse is going to be boarded up like Main Street is really ridiculous. Main Street is boarded up because no one wants to be there. In Sugarhouse, so many people want to be there that you can't lease any space. So many people want to be in Sugarhouse that developers are going to build new functional buildings for them to be in. Demand is huge. No one is going to board up any buildings with strong demand for space.
Posted by John Gardiner, Sunday April 1st, 2007 @ 4:10 pm
Name: Kathy Sulivan
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Are some of these little shops in Sugarhouse that were mentioned on the show really old "landmarks"? Ten Thousand Villages, Blue Boutique, and a lot of the other little shops along 11th east are really fairly new..the only real "landmarks" up there are the old post office and Granite Furniture. It never ceases to amaze me how we get these comments about "saving Utah"or "saving Salt Lake" from people who haven't even lived here for very long. I've lived in Utah my entire life, and yes, Salt Lake has gone through a lot of changes. Let's face it, though, Utahns, like most Americans, like to shop, and we like lots of choices, and we like to save money, if we can. What really gets me is when I go someplace and there are all these people from California or New York or some other overpopulated place who have just moved out here and are now making it their job to "save Utah." I can't tell you the number of times I've been to Park City and heard the "beautiful people" up there comp laining about "all the Salt Lake people up here today." My ancestors came out here when the livin' was rough and the food and water was scarce. My own father was born in a little old house in Paragonah, Utah, that never had running water or a bathroom. Yet, nowdays when I go out in Salt Lake all I seem to meet are people from "elsewhere" who have made it their job to come out here and "save our state." I feel like a stranger in my own land, because I'm not willing to pay inflated prices in little shops that may have their share of charm, but have really not been here all that long, and are never that friendly to me when I go in to shop there anyway. At least when I go to Walmart to shop, there's a greeter at the door who thanks me for coming in. I appreciate that, even if s/he's been paid to do it. Personally, I don't feel like I ever get treated like I'm "cool" enough, or "interesting" enough, or "rich" enough, or whatever it takes to get the respect and decent treat ment from these "charming little stores" and the people who !
in them, in Sugarhouse, in the 9th & 9th area, or any of the other "charming" parts of Salt Lake that claim to want to stay and pretend to want my business. Maybe that sounds bitter, but from my point of view, it's the truth.
Posted by Kathy Sulivan, Sunday April 1st, 2007 @ 5:06 pm
With respect to the Sugarhouse situation, the fact is that there is a large part of the community that never visits or does busines in the busineses you feature. The fact is that cornor of Sugarhouse is a bunch of junk and it ought to be replaced. Mr. Mechan is doing the community a service. Before the area across the street was redeveloped Sugarhouse was in the throws of death. That develoopment has revitalized Sugarhouse and has brought the entire community there to do business. Mr. Mecham's develpment will be much more welcoming to the public in general, not just a small segment that now thinks they are entitled to foist their views and predilicaitons on the general community.
Posted by L. R. Gardiner, Tuesday July 17th, 2007 @ 4:40 pm
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