OGDEN The former home of the Standard-Examiner newspaper, 455 23rd St., soon will be demolished because there is no way to make a profitable and safe further use of the old building, county officials said.
The Standard-Examiner was housed in the building for 39 years, from 1961 to 2000. More recently, the Children's Treehouse Museum used the structure until about two years ago, when it moved into a new building at 347 22nd St.
Weber County now owns the former Standard-Examiner building and the property on which it sits. It has used the building for storage recently.
"There are no special plans for the property," said Nate Pierce, director of operations for Weber County.
He said the building is not suitable for refurbishing, given all the asbestos and corrosion it contains.
"It would be cost-prohibitive to do it," Pierce said.
As such, he said the Weber County Commission believes the building needs to be demolished soon. It is working on a contract to have it razed.
He said the current plan is to cover the property with asphalt and use it for additional parking for the nearby County Health Department.
There is a possibility that if Weber County needs land for another building, it could be built on the property at some point in the future, Pierce said.
"Good, bad, painful and joyful memories will be torn down along with that building," said Pat Bean, a retired writer/feature editor/city editor for the Standard-Examiner.
She first came to the Standard in 1979, spending 21 years working in the old building, before moving into the new one at Business Depot Ogden.
"What I remember most about the physical conditions were the mish-mash of electrical connections to power the coming of the computer age," she recalled.
"When I came there, as features editor, reporters were still getting used to the computer. I remember one phone company guy who unplugged my computer, making me lose everything I had been working on all morning and causing me to scream. It was in this building that I, who had always been mild spoken, learned to cuss at the ripe age of 40."
She also stressed, "But the building really stands out in my mind because of the people I worked with ..."
The old building had been the National Guard Armory originally, before becoming a home to Ogden's newspaper. Pierce said the structure was probably built in the 1940s.
The Standard-Examiner added a new press and mail room on the site in 1968. Then, in 1989, the building's lobby was substantially remodeled.The Standard-Examiner moved to 332 Standard Way in the BDO, the former Defense Depot Ogden, in 2000. Its first newspaper office had been at 24th Street and Kiesel Avenue, where the "Examiner" newspaper began in 1904. The "Standard" newspaper, forerunner of the Standard-Examiner, was first published in 1888. On April 1, 1920, the two newspapers merged.