No structural engineer contacted so far is willing to guarantee the Utah Savings and Trust Building, 235 S. Main, won't be damaged when pilings are driven 80 feet into the ground for a nearby underground parking terrace on Block 57.
That word comes from John Pace, an architect with the firm of Babcock Pace & Associates and chairman of the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce's Downtown Committee.Pace told the chamber's board of governors the contractor for the Utah One Building, being built by the Boyer Co. on the northwest corner of Block 57, doesn't feel comfortable about pounding pilings into the ground so close to the Utah Savings building, which is listed on the National Historic Register.
No structural engineer will tell the contractor the pile driving will be safe for the building, which is rather long and narrow, Pace said.
The situation with the old building was part of an update for the board on Block 57, which is bounded by Second and Third South and Main and State streets. He said the shoring for the parking terrace is necessary because it will carry heavy loads with the soil for the trees and the concrete on top of the terrace.
Pace said the Boyer building is the only thing committed so far for a corner of the block, although a hotel is proposed for the southwest corner, an office building on the northeast corner and the Brooks Arcade to remain on the southeast corner.
Of the 10 acres contained in the block, five acres are proposed for open space that will tie in with the buildings proposed for the corners. He said the open space should be an active place with a variety of activities or facilities planned.
For example, a pond could be used for ice skating in the winter and small boat sailing in the summer. The area also could be used for sports and an amphitheater could be used for a variety of activities.