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Utah Heritage Foundation offering historical building tours

By Keith McCord  |  Posted Jun 9th, 2010 @ 4:26pm


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SALT LAKE CITY -- If you like Utah history and specifically enjoy the old architectural building styles from decades past, you have a chance to see something new this summer.

The Utah Heritage Foundation conducts free guided tours every summer of old buildings on the historical register.

The Salt Lake City and County building is one of the stalwarts on the Heritage Foundation's annual tour. Every year, the foundation conducts free guided tours of these buildings. It's all about preserving and learning more about Utah's history.

"We like to spread the word about preservation and get people involved, get people excited about it," said Alison Flanders with the Utah Heritage Foundation. "If going on a tour is one of the ways we can do that, we are happy to give those tours."

The Utah Heritage Foundation was established in 1966 with the goal of identifying, preserving and finding those who will restore Utah's historic buildings.

Public tours of these buildings have been going on for about three decades. Each summer, hundreds of tourists and history buffs take part in these guided tours.

This year, they'll get a real treat when they can learn more about the O.C. Tanner and Alta Club buildings.

"They're slightly intimidating buildings, if you've never been in, but they're marvelous inside and out," Flanders said. "They have great historic features, original woodwork in both buildings and they're fabulous."

Brand new on the list this summer is the Alta Club.

"It just has a lot of great rooms that have a lot of historic character throughout that are original, and some of them are said to be haunted," Flanders said.

The members-only club is one of Salt Lake's oldest buildings, built in 1898.

Next door to the Alta Club, in the historic library building, the new O.C. Tanner retail store is also new on the Heritage tour list.

"It was a vital part of downtown. This building is right in the hub of downtown Salt Lake, and it was important to find someone to restore it and renovate it and make it beautiful again," Flanders said.

The Heritage Foundation learns of about four or five buildings every year throughout the state and works to make sure they are preserved, if possible. Whether it's an old barn some place all the way to the Governor's Mansion, it's all about keeping Utah's history alive.

Other places on the tour include the Kearns mansion, which is the Governor's Mansion; the Meditation Chapel and the Memorial House in Memory Grove.

The tours last about a half hour each. CLICK HERE for more information.

E-mail: kmccord@ksl.com

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