Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Another one bites the dust

A year or so ago the Utah State Historical Society placed a notice on their web site about the old D&RGW freight depot in Salt Lake City. Essentially, Utah Transit Authority owned it, and had plans to raze it after converting a portion into the Intermodal Hub building...the conversion left the southern half unrecognizable, but the northern half was just as the Rio Grande left it. The USHS was making a plea for someone to save it as one of the few original D&RGW facilities left in Utah, the Salt Lake City station and the Ogden freight depot being two others.
Looking north from the south east corner.
A while later I looked for the page again and couldn't find it, and I was immediately worried - had the building been torn down already? Someone said it hadn't, so when the opportunity (namely, free passage on Frontrunner South) presented itself I headed up to  SLC to photograph it before it met its fate.
Looking due west from the middle of the building. Interestingly, the concrete was braced with rails.

I was shocked to find myself facing a pile of rubble. I was only two days late! Wrecking equipment still on the site, I had missed an opportunity. The reall kicker is that I have never, EVER, seen any photographs of the building anywhere. People tend to focus on the nearby passenger depot and ignore the other, just as important structures. While I'm sure that a few pictures do exist somewhere in the world, it still doesn't lessen the impact of this loss.
Looking south.

End of rant, but lesson learned: don't procrastinate when it comes to preserving history. Here's a few more pictures:
 Looking south from the northeast corner.
Looking east; you can see the red hip roof of the D&RGW/WP Union Station in the background.
Below: Here's what the modernized southern half looks like. Nothing like the original, believe me...about the only thing UTA saved was the concrete skeleton and the framework for the bay awnings.

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