Salt Lake City and the LDS Church have reached a compromise over a church proposal to demolish 20 residential buildings in a historic district on Gordon Place.
The church will retain and improve four homes facing State Street on Capitol Hill in northern Salt Lake City and demolish 16 buildings on the block's interior to make way for a park, church spokesman Jerry Cahill said Thursday.That plan, if approved by the city Historical Landmarks Committee, is a step back from original plans to demolish all 20 buildings on Gordon Place property, purchased by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1988.
The Gordon Place plan is "consistent with the church's commitment to preserve the lovely State Street corridor to the State Capitol," Cahill said.
But when the church first proposed to raze all the buildings, Councilwoman Sydney Fonnesbeck spoke out against the plan, saying demolition in the area would lead to commercial development on the entire block.
Now, however, Fonnesbeck said she supports the compromise. "I'm not happy about losing Gordon Place. But it's kind of the first time we've seen them try a compromise," she said.
Church developers will take their proposal to the Landmarks Committee May 17 to seek approval for demolition of the buildings and subsequent park plans.
Post demolition plans call for a landscaped and lighted park with access from both State and Main streets, Cahill said. The Kimball Cemetery, where Pioneer leader Heber C. Kimball is buried, will be maintained on the site.