While you were showing off the Macy’s windows and Salt Lake Temple lights to friends and visitors you probably missed the leveling 106-year-old Arrow Press Square.
You might remember the huge fire in 2011 of the ‘DV8’ building that took out part of the block between 1st and 2nd South on West Temple. The damage from that inferno, seen from around the Salt Lake Valley, helped to put one of the final nails into the coffin of Arrow Press Square and a century of history downtown. Gen-X’rs remember Club DV8 as a solid venue for unknown bands passing through town, like Thrill Kill Kult, Pearl Jam, Green Day and Tool. Boomers remember it for a great dive bar called the Dead Goat Saloon that was around from 1965 to about 2003/2004 until it turned into Crazy Goat Saloon for a year and tried to be a naughty strip club and sexually oriented business that didn’t fly well with the authorities. But that naked history is for another column.
I digress. The Tribune Reporter Printing Company was the original tenant of Arrow Press. It was a historic old building that’s now dust. The remaining west side buildings and especially warehouses are being noted and counted one last time. It’s that time of the year when many of us get our paperwork together for the tax man. We count our ‘beans’ and move them from one column to the other and see how we fared in 2015. I took accounting classes in college and realized I did not want to be a CPA when I grew up, as the mystery hunt for that $.37 to balance the books made me crazier than I already am. Low and behold later in life I’ve learned that not all accounting involves debits and credits, income and loss. There are different types of accountants and right now the Utah Division of State History is conducting an audit of the Warehouse Historic District in downtown Salt Lake City to document properties that are at least 50 years old and nominate them and the area to the National Register of Historic Places.
Why would we want old buildings recognized on a national level? Cory Jensen of the Utah Division of State History says here’s why: 1) the status educates the community about the history of the area; 2) it promotes preservation of our history and 3) encourages preservation through different incentives like tax credits for rehab projects. On January 21st the Historic Preservation Review Board will meet to approve a map of the proposed expanded Warehouse District and the buildings being nominated within the grid. If approved the new map and list of properties will go to the feds and within about two months the district should get approval.
This doesn’t guarantee buildings like Arrow Press Square won’t be torn down. Getting on the National Register does not interfere with a private property owner’s right to alter, manage or dispose of the listed property. Nor does the owner have to restore it or open it to the public. To see the list go to: heritage.utah.gov/history/national-register-nominations-january-2016.
Babs De Lay is a broker with Urban Utah Homes & Estates