The Utah Heritage Foundation wants you to know that the newly renovated City-County Building has pilasters. But they also want you to know that pilasters aren't bunions, flowers or capsules but rectangular columns attached to the building every two feet or so for support.
Beginning on Tuesday, twice-weekly free tours of the City-County Building are being directed by Utah Heritage Foundation volunteers. Mary Lou Gottschall, volunteer coordinator, has arranged tours for each Tuesday, from noon until 2 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. until noon. "We have volunteers trained to be guides who will take groups on a floor-by-floor tour. Visitors will receive a handout describing the exterior and see such things as the beautiful molded fifth-floor ceiling that was discovered during the renovation." Viewed from the fourth floor, the ceiling has detailed plaster work and Gothic pointed arches.Gottschall told about other architectural treasures that emerged during the old building's facelift including what may have been the Salt Lake City mascot, a griffin (a mythical creature with the head and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion) that is carved in an archway.
The Utah Heritage Foundation will train additional guides in the history and architecture of the City-County Building. Those interested can call the Utah Heritage Foundation at 533-0858 for further information.
Personalized special tours can be arranged two weeks in advance to tour the grounds or the clock tower or to see the "base isolators" - the new foundation that will enable the aging sandstone building to "ride out" an earthquake. The special tours need to be for at least 10 people, and there is a $1 per person charge. Extended hours are available for the special tours - until 7 p.m. in the evening and until 4 p.m. on Saturdays.
Utah Heritage Foundation members currently trained to lead the 50-minute tours are Beth Campbell, Floralie Millsaps, Lynda Shields and Christine Moor. Other volunteers are Elaine and Clyde Collett, Ruth Pendleton, Judy Beaudoin, Pat Hailes, David Handrahan and Kathy Anderson.
Also trained as guides: Kathie Marshall, Colleen Harwick, Mary Dawn Coleman, Karen Synder, Martha Mitchell, Jean Truman and Mary McHenry.
Mary Lou Gottschall would like all Salt Lakers to see the pilasters at the City-County Building. The support columns are often topped with a beautifully carved scrollwork capital. Taking the City-County tour at the very least will enlarge your vocabulary.