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The City Journals

Historic Buildings Identified within Cottonwood Heights Boundaries

Jul 29, 2016 08:52AM ● By Cassie Goff

By Cassandra Goff | [email protected]

Cottonwood Heights, Utah - Results from the Cottonwood Heights Historic Buildings Survey were presented by Koral Broschinsky during the Cottonwood Heights City Council Work Session Meeting on June 14 at 6p.m.

Broschinsky began by explaining the Reconnaissance Level Survey within the city boundaries of Cottonwood Heights. “The first step in identifying and evaluating the historic buildings is to have an inventory of historic buildings,” Broschinsky explained.

Within her survey, the focus was on buildings within the city that were standing after 1953, which she used as her cut off year. From those requirements, she found 231 resources. From those resources, she found that 34 had been demolished. Many of which were recent, including five homes that were taken out for the new Municipal Center construction.

To provide additional context, Broschinsky “developed some historic contextual periods.”

The Fort and Canyon Settlement period was from 1848 to 1872. The Mining Industry and Home period was from 1873 to 1895. During this time, there were many roads being built.

The Farms, Homesteads and Orchards period was from 1896 to 1929. The Depression to Post War Growth period was from 1930 to 1952. Many smaller homes were built during this time because more people were traveling into Cottonwood Heights, most on transportation corridors.

Subdivision Development and Growth was between 1953 and 1982. Subdivisions, interstate freeways and commercial homes were built during this time. The Luxury Homes period began in 1983 and is present. The homes being built presently within the community are quite large.

Within residential areas of the city, Broschinsky recorded the materials that were used for the buildings. She found that 34% of the material used was brick and 31% used veneers. Others used log, stone and adobe. “Some of the buildings had more than one primary material,” she explained.

There have been preservation efforts within the Cottonwood Heights community. Specifically towards the Granite Paper Mill located at 6900 Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, the Alvin and Annie Green House located on Danish Road and Granite Hydroelectric Power Plant in Big Cottonwood Canyon.  Cottonwood Heights also has some distinctive historic neighborhoods including Butlerville and Danishtown.

Broschinsky identified 35 properties that had eligibility for individual National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) nomination through the National Park Service.

She recommends putting these buildings on the national registry. “People think it puts restrictions on their properties. That is a misunderstanding that has come up because a lot of communities provide local landmark ordinances. National register does not protect properties from demolition,” Broschinsky explained.

However, “local ordinances is where you can provide some protection if you wish it,” Broschinsky explained to the Cottonwood Heights City Council.

The NRHP database could help to provide the properties with addresses, construction dates, materials, architectural styles, types, plans, historic names, comments, evaluations and historic names. It could also help provide more intensive research on specific buildings for walking tours, plaques and plans. It would provide context for buildings that might want to list but are not outstanding historical examples.

Another recommendation is to include more survey objectives for further research at intensive levels. “This research would be beneficial to help with preservation planning and educational tools such as walking tours and school programs,” Broschinsky said.

She also recommends further reconnaissance survey work to look at buildings before 1953, which could make the survey more useful.

“The city recognizes that its historic heritage is among its most unique irreplaceable and important assets,” which is a reason for Cottonwood Heights to have a Historic Committee, which works closely with Broschinsky. Many of the Committee’s members were present for her presentation to the council.

“What would the Historic Committee like to do?” Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore asked members after hearing Broschinsky’s recommendations.

“We think we should go through at least one more round of surveys and extend to 1970 or so to give a little room to grow. We would like to identify a few buildings for an intensive level survey,” members said. “Intensive level information is needed for stories.”

“If you can build a story, you get a lot more people interested,” Cullimore agreed.

The Historic Committee plans to apply for federal grants for aide to complete more intensive level surveys.