For a long time, Ogden’s 25th Street was a place with really old, falling apart and abandoned buildings. Gangs and drug dealers populated the street. In the mid ’70s and ’80s, many downtown buildings were demolished. Some felt this indicated that Ogden was finally growing up, leaving its seedy past behind and entering an urban renaissance. Others felt differently.
After watching several old buildings disappear, the Junior League of Ogden urged the city to seek historic designation for 25th Street and to establish an area protection and redevelopment master plan. The city listened, and today Historic 25th Street is, in fact, historic.
The downtown district restoration has been a long process, but not only has historic designation protected the street’s original integrity, but it also has increased civic pride for residents and business owners.
The Ogden Landmarks Committee plays a crucial role in monitoring historic designation and approving 25th Street plans and uses. The committee reviews applications submitted in the Historic 25th Street, Jefferson or Eccles districts for work that involves, for example, exterior changes, new construction or signage. A passing grade must be achieved before work can be completed. In general, the committee follows rehabilitation standards set forth by the US Department of Interior.
On 25th Street, the Historic 25th Street Association and Foundation are two entities committed to preserving and protecting the historic status of the street while also promoting economic development and community vibrancy. The Association has stated that they do not want the street to be simply a snapshot in time, that the historic nature of the street is important, and also that it is important to allow changes that meet new community needs and contribute to a vibrant downtown.
Preservation and development perspectives are sometimes at odds, but the community consensus is that people care about 25th Street and want to protect its character.