Another piece of history disappeared from the downtown Salt Lake City skyline Saturday morning as crews cut loose and lowered to the ground the time and temperature sign atop the Questar Building.
The 20-year-old landmark was showing signs of age and was costly to maintain, according to the firm, which is also planning a renovation of the building at 100 South and 200 East.Crews from Young Electric Sign Co. used a 172-foot crane to lower the sign, which they estimated to weigh between 6,000 and 8,000 pounds, from the roof of the eight-story building.
"It's sad. It's another piece of downtown Salt Lake that's coming down, just like the old Newhouse Hotel," said building security guard Doris Childs.
"People depended on the sign. If the time was off, they'd call and complain they missed their bus because of it. If it stopped revolving, they'd call us.
"You could see it all the way up into the Avenues. People up there would get up in the morning and look out the window to see what the temperature was," said Childs.
The time and temperature module on the 25-foot by 35-foot sign can be salvaged but the rest will be scrapped, said a YESCO worker.
Questar spokesman Adrian Gostick said city sign and zoning ordinances no longer allow rooftop signs in the downtown business district, so the sign can't be replaced.
The first sign atop the building was installed in 1967 and replaced with the current one in 1975, Gostick said. "It was aging. It's rusting, it has holes in it, its day is gone," he said.
Gostick said Questar took 20 to 30 calls when it announced the sign would come down, but public reaction has been more muted than he expected.
"I did have one call from a florist who said he depended on the temperature reading on the sign to tell him when he could open the windows in his shop. But the public reaction hasn't been all that big," Gostick said.