Some random views of an evening in downtown Salt Lake City.
Trolley Square was once a trolley barn for the original streetcars of the city. For 50 years it has been a trendy shopping district (and somewhere with a patio restaurant open for lunch!). The water tower is a highlight of the skyline.
Another in a long line of stupid arena names in the pursuit of a few more dollars – the Vivint Arena. The streetcars however, are a great (re)addition to the city.
While we are going on strange names – the Utah Jazz. The franchise was founded in New Orleans in 1974, playing just 5 seasons there before relocating to Salt Lake City, but keeping the Jazz name, apparently because they switched cities so close to the start of the season they never had time to get new uniforms and advertising completed.
A few murals…
Our hotel for the night had a nice view of downtown for both sunset…
The Utah State Capitol sits on the aptly named Capitol Hill above downtown Salt Lake City. Completed in 1916 it’s style is similar to most of the state capitol buildings in the U.S.
As always this posting is not meant to document all the features of the building, rather to reflect on some of the more photogenic views.
The lions guarding the side of the building were originally made out of concrete, but were replaced during a 4 year overall capitol restoration project ending in 2008. They are now made out of Italian marble, and were completed by Nick Fairplay.
This glass window features the ubiquitous Utah beehive. The beehive symbolizes the belief that the community works together as a whole to improve life for all.
One of the two grand marble staircases. Each staircase has a massive mural depicting the mormon settlement of Utah.
The rotunda ceiling. When the building was first completed the rotunda remained unfinished for 20 years until the cyclorama was completed in 1934.
The artwork around the rotunda was completed at the same time.
This bust is of the native Ute hunter and fur trader Unca Sam.
Nearby is a bust of Ute leader John Duncan.
Noted Utah inventor Philo T Farnsworth is also featured on the 4th floor gallery. Among his many discoveries Farnsworth is credited with inventing the first complete television.
Also from the 4th floor many of the details visible.
Dr Chip Thomas is a native of North Carolina who went to Diné (Navajo) Nation decades ago as a fulfillment of a National Health Services Corps scholarship he had received. He arrived in this area in 1987.
Decades later he began to paint large scale murals on abandoned buildings throughout the area. Early on he painted what he believed to be an abandoned roadside stand, only to find it was still used and the new art attracted more business. These stands are crucial to the economic survival of the community.
The mural in Gray Mountain is on an old motel that had been owned by a group known as the Whiting Brothers, who had a chain of motels all along route 66 and elsewhere in the west.
The art is a tribute to the Diné Nation and their struggles and heritage, and was completed by Dr Thomas as well as Diné artists.
From 1934 until 1943 the U.S. Department of Treasury funded a program that produced murals for Post Offices across the country, most as they were being built. This brief posting highlights the murals in the Safford, Arizona Post Office.
Safford is one of the larger towns in eastern Arizona, with a population today of about 10,000, although only 2,000 people lived there when the post office was built during this period.
The murals are titled ‘The History of The Gila River Valley’, completed by Seymour Fogel who was once an apprentice to Diego Rivera. It depicts the pioneers of the area, including the conquistadors and a Franciscan monk, farmers, cowboys and natives.
Fogel’s initial proposal had more intense detail of the plight of the Native American’s, but it was met with such resistance from the local townspeople that the design was modified to this more sterilized version.