Volume 85, Number 1 (Winter 2017 Issue):
Published since 1928, the Utah Historical Quarterly is the state’s premier history journal and the source for reliable, engaging Utah history. Join the Historical Society for your own copy.
Each issue of the Utah Historical Quarterly is accompanied with rich web supplements that introduce readers to sources, photos, interviews, and other engaging material. These “extras” are located at history.utah.gov/uhqextras.
WEB EXTRAS: See here
IN THIS ISSUE
The Utah Historical Quarterly first devoted an issue entirely to architectural history in 1975, with “Toward an Architectural Tradition”; just over a decade later came a second such issue, investigating “Architecture at the Turn of the Century.” The time has come to add to this body of work. In this issue of UHQ, we focus on historic preservation and on place-based history of the built environment.
Historic preservation has a variety of meanings, depending on one’s perspective and experience. In the broadest of definitions, it encompasses the movement to document and save that which is meaningful to our collective history. While to some this phrase may convey the stoppage of time, to others it represents change. Places are not frozen; they are always evolving. The historic preservation process gives us a chance to collectively determine if and how historic places work within the context of a changing built environment. You can’t see historic preservation in a museum. While history is physically present around us every day, it’s part of a temporary museum undergoing permanent change.
Preservation embraces a cross-section of community-based practices and institutions that include historic architecture and archaeology, as well as museums, libraries, and archives, festivals, tourism, and long-lived businesses. Though representing even a thread of all these areas in a special issue would be a challenge, the essays in this issue demonstrate the breadth of knowledge of Utah’s architectural historians and archaeologists, highlighting some of the tremendous
research and writing in the field. The authors’ expertise and the UHQ’s support of this type
of research help generate more public understanding or places that matter. This issue demonstrates the important role of historic preservation in Utah in determining how our state changes for the better when we consider places of meaning—what I refer to in my opening essay as sites of conscience.
Bim Oliver served as a consultant in the documentation of the midcentury development of the University of Utah campus. The years after World War II saw extensive growth in student population, though it took the state twenty-five years to catch up to the demand for greater access and new academic programs. The buildings constructed during those years of development and change are now frequently discussed—and targeted—for demolition. One goal of Oliver’s documentation was to foster greater public appreciation for why these places were built in the first place and how they were used. Although they look different than the older structures forming Presidents Circle, Oliver argues, midcentury, Modernist buildings still deserve preservation.
Given the amount of federally owned public lands in Utah, partnerships between the managing federal agencies, interested stakeholders, lessees of federal property, and the public at large are essential in administering the cultural resources on those lands. Richa Wilson, a Forest Service architectural historian, offers an overview of the evolution of Forest Service architecture in Utah dating to the early twentieth century. She shows how buildings constructed in the state’s forests both reflected and departed from mainstream trends. The changing nature of federal
forest management and policies gave each period distinctive design characteristics that continue to be identifiable today.
In his essay, Thomas Carter, an emeritus professor at the University of Utah, argues that historic
preservationists derive cultural meaning through analysis and drawing. Through this series of artistic drawings, Carter highlights a wide range of building types and forms, architectural styles, and influences in construction. His essay also demonstrates the importance of drawing to historic preservation and how that skill is fading with each generation.
Finally, Sheri Murray Ellis, a cultural resource consultant, details the growth and decline of the Ogden Union Stockyard. This large and profitable facility came to exist largely through the instruments of technology—especially the railroad—and, in the end, newer technologies made the yards obsolete. Today, they are the site of redevelopment efforts.
I want to acknowledge my tremendous appreciation to the authors in this issue and to the UHQ editors for their willingness to produce the issue and persistent, professional guidance to oversee its completion.
Kirk Huffaker, Guest Editor
Becoming More Conscientious of Utah’s Sites of Conscience
By Kirk Huffaker
Modernism on Campus: Architecture at the University of Utah, 1945–1975
By Bim Oliver
Building the Forest Service in Utah: An Architectural Context
By Richa Wilson
Studying the Unstudied: Utah Drawings from the Western Regional Architecture Program Collection, Marriott Library, University of Utah, 1982–2016
By Thomas Carter
The Last Word in Stockyard Construction: The Rise and Fall of the Ogden Union Stockyard
By Sheri Murray Ellis
Leisl Carr Childers, The Size of the Risk: Histories of Multiple Use in the Great Basin. Reviewed by Joseph E. Taylor III
Matthew L. Harris and Newell G. Bringhurst, eds., The Mormon Church and Blacks: A Documentary History. Reviewed by Russell Stevenson
Larry Gerlach, Alma Richards, Olympian. Reviewed by Chris Elzey
Jonathan Foster, Lake Mead National Recreation Area: A History of America’s First National Playground
Photographs by Peter Goin, Essays by Peter Friederici, A New Form of Beauty: Glen Canyon beyond Climate Change