The restored City and County Building was the setting for Salt Lake's elite Friday night.
The gala was in honor of the building's reopening after 21/2 years of renovation. It was also to honor major donors to the Utah Heritage Foundation.Mayor Palmer DePaulis toasted the Heritage Foundation for "their courage and commitment and dreams." DePaulis concluded by saying, "It's wonderful to have a past, but today they have given us a future."
Sen. Jake Garn said he was "extremely pleased" with the renovation. He said that when, under his direction, they set up the scaffolding to renew the exterior of the building "we never even thought of the interior. To see the building so beautifully restored both inside and out is wonderful."
J. Jackson Walter, president of the National Trust For Historic Preservation in Washington, D.C., congratulated the Heritage Foundation for its "success in the restoration of this national treasure." He said that the renovation ranks among the top five preservation projects in the United States this year.
A plaque was presented to honor the benefactors of the restoration project and was given to the city for placement in the building.
Stephanie Churchill, who was director of the Utah Heritage Foundation when the decision was made to restore the building, said the result was more than she had ever imagined.
"It is a national example to preservation," said Churchill, who is now director of the Savannah, Ga., Heritage Foundation.
The original color scheme was maintained as closely as possible, with green and brick-red throughout.
President Gordon B. Hinckley, first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Saints, attended the gala with his wife.
"It's a great thing that's been done," said President Hinckley. "Its a thing of great significance to the community."
It seemed somehow fitting that the guests were welcomed and called to dinner by Nelson Styles, the man who greeted guests at the Hotel Utah for so many years. "I'm retired now. They just call on me for these sorts of things," said Styles. "And it's just wonderful to be here."