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Holladay Journal

Historic Home Preservation series brings resources to Holladay residents

Nov 01, 2022 07:52PM ● By Collette Hayes

David Amott's grandparent's historic home built in 1922 located on Holladay Boulevard. (Photo courtesy David Amott)

By Collette Hayes | [email protected]

The Holladay Historical Commission’s Monday Night Speaker Series continues at Holladay City Hall. The presentations have included a variety of topics presented by authorities about historic home and building preservation and have provided a resource to Holladay business owners and home owners.

The Commission was created to preserve, document and develop the historical and archeological resources that inform the community’s collective history. There are three goals: community outreach and education; preserving historical records and artifacts; and supporting preservation of historically significant buildings and structures. In an attempt to meet the historical preservation goals in Holladay, the Commission is offering five presentations on home and building preservation as well as the development of a historical walking museum that will be located behind city hall.

Allen Roberts, cofounder of the first architectural firm in Utah to specialize in historic building preservation, discussed in his July presentation how maintaining Holladay historic homes rather than tearing them down could be a significant benefit to the homeowner as well as to the city.

According to Kim Duffy, preservation subcommittee chairman, Roberts pointed out to Mayor Robert Dahle, who was in attendance at the July presentation, how preserving an historic home could bring grant money and tax credits to the home owner as well as increase tourism in the city.

“It’s a win-win situation for the homeowner as well as the city of Holladay,” Duffy said. “If you maintain your historic homes in a city, it is actually a draw to your city. Our public thrust right now is to try to teach people that by preserving your historic home and listing your home on the National Register of Historic Places doesn’t hamstring you. You can still sell your house as well as receive funding or tax credits for the work that you do on your historic home.”

The primary focus for the Commission is working toward preserving historical records and artifacts. They have received funding through grants to develop a concept for a walking tour museum which is in its infancy stages. The historic walk will be integrated within existing infrastructure and will provide visitors with a brief but inspirational view from Holladay’s earliest beginnings to the present-day.

“With the mayor, the city manager and our city council representative, Dan Gibbons, we are in the process of developing a walking tour museum,” said Robert Falck, Holladay Commission chairman. “This is a major initiative for the Commission at this time. We’ve had six or seven meetings with consultants who have developed a concept for the outdoor museum which will be located behind town hall.”

On Sept. 19, at Holladay City Hall, the Monday Night Speaker Series continued with Cory Jensen, National Register coordinator and Amber Anderson, Tax Credit Program coordinator.  The presentation focus was the process and criteria for applying to preserve an historic home on the National Register and the tax credits available for qualifying buildings

“Any interested person can research and nominate a property to the National Register,” Jensen said. “The building must be at least 50 years old and must retain its historical integrity and must be significant architecturally or historically or both. Historical integrity is based on how well the property reflects its period of significance. Properties nominated for architectural significance may be important not for how architectural they are but for how rare they are.”

Through supporting preservation of historically significant buildings, Holladay is a Certified Local Government registered with the State Historic Preservation Office. On Nov. 14, David Amott, Preservation Utah director, will speak on the architecture of Holladay’s historical estates and the influential families who built them.

Frequently visiting his grandmother’s home in Holladay, which was built in 1922, Amott developed a passion for architecture at an early age. As he grew, he began to realize how prominent her house was in the community and eventually wrote a National Register nomination for it.

“What I ultimately came to realize beginning with an interest in my grandmother’s home and then moving to the Walkers and other early notable families’ homes in Holladay was originally Holladay functioned as sort of Hamptons for wealthy Salt Lake residents in the late 1800s and early 1900s,” Amott said. “It was their opportunity to escape the heat, and the dust and the pollution of Salt Lake and enjoy the countryside similar to how the people in New York escape to Newport or the Hamptons. Every major city has one of these summer vacation colonies and the reason many of the people chose Holladay was because of the tradition that the Walkers had started and the natural wealth of resources that existed in Holladay. It was close to the mountains, but also in the foothills where there is a natural abundance of streams and trees. The natural air conditioning provided by the streams made life pleasant and bearable in an age where you either had a stream in your backyard or you sat on a block of ice to keep you cool during the summer months.”

The Monday Speaker Series will conclude with a presentation about the early communities of Native Americans in Utah presented at Holladay City Hall on Monday, Jan. 19, 2023 at 7 p.m.

For more information about the Monday Night Speaker Series or volunteer opportunities, visit the Holladay Historical Commission on Instagram @holladayhistoricalcommission.