December 7, 2012

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Article

Walker Center Becomes a Centenarian

Sarah Cutler

December 7, 2012


The heart of downtown Salt Lake City has watched the weather tower on top of the Walker Center Building for 100 years now. A community celebration was held yesterday to celebrate the anniversary of the building, along with the unveiling of a window display showcasing the Walker Center’s history.

Local community and economic development representatives and area professionals gathered at the building with owners Jim Tozer and Raju Shah in commemoration. The unveiling of the window kicked off a schedule of year-long events and programs planned to continue the celebration of the Walker Center’s 100th year anniversary.

Bob Farrington, economic development director for Salt Lake City Corporation, said, “It takes people like Jim and Raju who are able to…see over the horizon about what our city not only is, but what it can be, and take advantage of this opportunity to help restore, remodel and reactivate this iconic building in our city. We really cherish these beautiful, historic buildings.”

In Dec. 1912 the Walker brothers, who owned and operated a mercantile business selling provisions to the U.S. Army stationed at Camp Floyd, celebrated a grand opening of the building that took approximately 13 months to build. It became home to the Walker Brothers mercantile business and a banking business that was also owned by the brothers.

Given the location of the building in Salt Lake City’s business district, it has been a hot spot for tenants since opening day in 1912.

“We have class-A office space inside and a beautiful historic building on the outside. For a hundred years now it has been at the cross roads of Salt Lake City and we’re thrilled to be able to celebrate it’s hundredth birthday and have a bunch of our friends and some of the people that made it happen and a few of our marvelous tenants here with us,” said Tozer.

In 2005 the Walker Center was renovated with a focus on preserving the building history. The next year it was included in the Salt Lake City Register of Cultural Resources and placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2008 the 64-foot weather tower was rebuilt after being removed in the 1980s due to a city ordinance.

The weather tower displays the forecast through a key of colors:

  • blue: clear skies
  • flashing blue: cloudy skies
  • red: rain
  • flashing red: snow

Jason Mathis, executive director of Salt Lake City’s Downtown Alliance and executive vice president of the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, said, “We can always build new buildings and we want to build lots of beautiful new buildings, that’s an important part of what makes a dynamic downtown, but we can’t build historic buildings like this. We can only reinvest and recommit, and the only reason you really do that is because you love something and you want to make it last for a really long time.”

The Walker Center Building is located at 175 S. Main Street. For more information, visit: http://www.utahheritagefoundation.com/saving-places/heritage-awards/2012ha/item/701-walker-center-salt-lake-city#.UMDSxWeKiaQ.

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