George Washington and Thomas Jefferson joined ceremonies Friday celebrating what Murray folk boast sets them apart from other Utah cities - architecture.
"Have you ever wondered what makes one community stand out? It's the architecture," Mayor LaVar McMillan told those attending the grand opening of Murray's own Independence Hall, 111 E. 56th South.The professional building that resembles Philadelphia's historic Independence Hall "gives Murray character," the mayor said.
Quoting English writer John Ruskin, McMillan said, "When we build, let us think we build forever."
Unfortunately, today's modern buildings are not built to last more than a few decades. Buildings such as Murray's old city hall are demolished without consideration for their historic value, he said.
The Independence Hall professional building will last through the next century, the mayor predicted, and will become Murray's most loved site. People will enjoy strolling through the park (to be developed in front of the hall) and listening to the chimes, said the mayor.
According to plan, amplifiers installed in the building's tower will broadcast patriotic music three times a day, and the clock chimes on the hour. At Christmas, the chimes will play holiday music.
Calling the building "graceful and pleasing," McMillan commended the developers of Independence Square - Winget Enterprise - for their "hard work and vision."
Three Winget brothers - Jon, Brent and Greg - dressed in colonial costumes took on the roles of the nation's Founding Fathers. Their sister, Dian Winget, dressed as Martha Washington.
The festivities began with students from McMillan Elementary School launching blue and red balloons, containing their names, into the air. Paul Revere (or at least an anonymous rider dressed like Revere) surprised the audience by riding his horse across the plaza to deliver a decree. The decree encouraged the audience to remember the noble dreams and sacrifices of great American patriots.
Blasts from two 18th-century cannons then startled on-lookers.
The Salt Lake Exchange Club contributed 22 historical documents, framed and displayed throughout the Independence Hall.
Following the Independence Hall ceremonies, the Wingets turned their eye to the future. Groundbreaking was held for the Thomas Jefferson Mansion, another professional building to be completed in September. The entire complex, which will include several other buildings, is expected to be completed in 1991.