Residents of the Capitol Hill area reacted to the announcement of two new parks at State Street and Second Avenue and plans to bring City Creek above ground in unison: Great!
Salt Lake Mayor Deedee Corradini and H. David Burton, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Tuesday unveiled plans for a land transaction that will trigger development of the parks and creek. The parks will be on land that is currently used as parking lots."That's great news," said Phil Carrol, chairman of the Greater Avenues Community Council. "This is what we've been wanting. We're looking at it as a gateway to the Avenues, City Creek and Capitol Hill."
Willy Littig, a resident of the Avenues neighborhood, said that if done properly, the parks will be a wonderful addition to the city.
"There is a time when church and state can work well together, and this may be one of them," Littig said.
There have been discussions since 1988 between city and LDS Church officials about a transaction that would allow creation of parks along the north end of State Street.
The deal finally negotiated will involve the city transferring title of 84,000 square feet of land under the intersection of Main and South Temple streets to the LDS Church. The LDS Church plans to develop an underground parking structure for up to 400 vehicles at the location, Burton said. The entrance to the structure will be located on South Temple.
The parking structure will serve existing amenities in the area as well as an office building that will eventually be built on the corner of Main and South Temple. The Union Pacific office building there will probably be razed, Burton said.
The city also will give the LDS Church title to a section of Richards Street, which runs under the Crossroads Plaza.
In return, the LDS Church will pay the city $2.3 million and develop a 1-acre park on the southeast corner of State and Second Avenue. Bishop Burton said the park will be developed along a historic, pioneer theme.
The city plans to use the money to bring City Creek above ground and to develop a 2.6-acre park on the northeast corner of State and Second Avenue. City Creek will first surface on the terraced hill west of the pond at Memory Grove, according to John Swain, director of parks planning and development.
It will cascade along the hillside to Ottinger Hall (the historic fire station) at the entrance to Memory Grove, where it will return underground. The creek will then resurface on the landscaped islands that extend from 220 North to Third Avenue along Canyon Road. The creek will drop underground again at Third Avenue and surface on the north end of the proposed city park.
It will cross the city's park and probably meander through a portion of the LDS Church park before dropping finally back into the storm drain culvert under the road near Second Avenue.
The city will solicit bids for design of its park next week. Corradini said she hopes to begin construction on the park by March 1995 and have it completed by late summer.
Mormon pioneers camped at the mouth of City Creek Canyon when they arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. Brigham Young located the fledgling city's industrial section at the mouth of the canyon to take advantage of the nearby water.
City Creek flowed down from the canyon and along North Temple until 1905, when it was placed in a culvert. Talk of bringing the creek above ground first surfaced in 1962 as a recommendation in the city's Second Century Plan.
The idea was revisited in 1988 when the city and LDS Church began discussing trading the parking lot sites for the underground parking lot.