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Letter: As a former mayor, I’m delighted by the new Fisher Mansion plans

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker talks with Nancy Bemis at the Fisher Mansion in Salt Lake City, Utah, Saturday, May 15, 2010.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

When I saw the news about the Fisher Mansion rennovation, I was relieved and happy to see this result.

When I was running for mayor, I learned that the Fisher Mansion had been acquired by the city to provide a corridor for the Jordan River Trail with the intent to resell it to a developer who would have used it for private, commercial purposes. I contacted the city real estate division and asked that they hold off on the sale, which was done. Upon coming into office, we made the decision to hold onto the building, restore it, and find an appropriate use. I used the Fisher Mansion as my first “Salt Lake Solutions” project. A team and some private funding was found to do an assessment and start work, which began with the Carriage House. We also opened the building up for public viewing and found a treasure of interest in its preservation. Unfortunately, we were unable to secure adequate private funding to complete the project, and multiple attempts to find a private inhabitant who would coexist with an appropriate reuse failed.

Now the city has stepped forward and the Public Lands Office will be located at the Fisher Mansion.

I’m grateful and relieved. I often go by the mansion, which I had seen over the years without knowing who owned it or its magnificent history.

I commend Salt Lake City for its wise investment and persistence to accomplish a great result for the people of Salt Lake and the state of Utah.

Ralph Becker

Salt Lake City