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MARKET STREET REGAINS NAME

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Goodbye, Post Office Place; hello, Market Street.

City officials will join local business owners Friday to officially change the name of the blocklong street that runs between Main Street and West Temple at 340 South.The name change - a new street sign bearing the Market Street name is already in place - is actually a return to the street's original moniker, said a spokesman for the restaurant company Gastronomy Inc., which operates the Market Street Grill, Oyster Bar and New Yorker Club in the old New York Hotel Building on the street.

The hotel was constructed in November 1906 on what was then called Market Street. The street name was later changed to reflect the dominance in the area of the imposing post office and federal building at 350 S. Main, which also was completed in 1906. (It was expanded in 1912 and again in 1931.)

This year Gastronomy petitioned the city to change the street name back to the original, and with the backing of Bill Campbell, owner of the historic Odd Fellows Building on the same street, and the Utah Heritage Foundation, the city agreed.

A brief ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. Friday under the canopy of the New York Building - listed on the National Historic Register - at what is now 48 W. Market St.

According to research on the hotel building by Gastronomy, the Market Street name was originally chosen for the street because the city's stock market activities were centered there.

O.J. Salisbury commissioned Richard Kletting, architect for the State Capitol, to design a luxury hotel to be built on the street with 62 rooms, steam heat and the wave of the future: electric lights. Suites had private baths - a hedonistic luxury for the time - and the main floor was occupied by shops and stock brokers.

Through the years, the hotel's name was changed five times. By the 1960s, the once top-line hotel's rooms were being rented by the week and even by the hour. In 1975, health officials ordered it closed.

Three years later, the building was saved from probable demolition when Gastronomy principals John Williams and Tom Sieg undertook their first local renovation project - they have since completed several - and opened their first restaurant, the New Yorker Club.

In 1980, with partner Tom Guinney, they opened the Market Street Grill in the building, followed by the Oyster Bar in 1982. The two upper floors are used as offices.

Last year, Gov. Norm Bangerter presented the Governor's Award of Excellence to Gastronomy for its contributions to the state's economy and for its work in rehabilitating old buildings.