Salt Lake City Weekly “gets it”

The Salt Lake City Weekly newspaper printed the following blurb Oct. 9 in its “Hits & Misses” column. It’s a great summary of the last few year’s of the destruction—and desire to stop it—in our neighborhood.

 

Hold On to History 
It has been a long, hard haul for preservationists, who faced a legislative moratorium on the creation of historic districts thanks to a 2011 bill that effectively opened the neighborhood to teardowns—there have been 23 over the past decade; about five a year, according to the Utah Heritage Foundation. Now the moratorium has been lifted, and Salt Lake City’s Yalecrest area has started a nonprofit called K.E.E.P. Yalecrest to educate homeowners and help preserve homes on the National Register of Historical Places. On Saturday, Oct. 12, the group will host a walking tour highlighting 15 homes. Meanwhile, the first application for a Local Historic District has been filed in the area. Preservationists may still have their day.

City Weekly Oct 9 2013

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2 thoughts on “Salt Lake City Weekly “gets it”

  1. K.E.E.P.Yalecrest
    Jon Dewey, President

    Re: October 23, 2013 K.E.E.P. Yalecrest newsletter

    Dear Jon,

    As you are well aware I have been a supporter of preservation within Yalecrest, both before and after my 6 years on the Historic Landmark Commission, but I am perplexed by the inaccuracies and misleading information I read in the last issue of the K.E.E.P. Yalecrest newsletter.

    Your communication in the post perpetuates confusion by over reaching beyond Yalecrest and applying terms that relate to a historic survey designation. Houses in Monument Park and Emigration are not “contributing” or “ non-contributing” because no survey was completed nor was a period of significance established. In fact, in retrospect of the Yalecrest Process, one of the admitted main problems of the local designation process was an overly broad boundary that failed to distinguish between distinctive periods of architectural significance of smaller neighborhoods within Yalecrest itself.

    Emigration neighborhood

    The Emigration Circle house is a renovation of an existing house on a uniquely shaped 0.29 ac lot on a residential cul-de-sac. Upon completion of the renovation to the house including addition of family space and reconfiguration of garage space, the lot coverage of the house and garage will be around 18% of the land area density. This is a lower density than the average houses within Yalecrest including nearly half of the lot coverage density of the houses in the Upper Princeton Park subdivision, for example.

    The renovation of the Emigration Circle house requires more planning and costs more per square foot than new construction but saves more embodied energy by providing selective demolition, mostly by hand, rather than by trackhoe, and a process which calls for material re-use where appropriate.

    Yalecrest and the surrounding neighborhoods of Emigration Park, Wasatch Hollow, and Monument Park will continue to be desirable neighborhoods due to the charm of the walkable streetscapes, mature street trees, quality schools and the community minded residents. When well intended preservationists, however, make blanket assessments of the appropriateness of renovation projects without the benefit of a more careful analysis and project their own cultural and aesthetic values upon their neighbors or judge them as somehow less neighborly, we all lose.

    What we need:

    Residents of existing houses in our neighborhood that want to make long term investments in extending the live-ability of their homes, should be provided guidance and encouragement to renovate in architecturally compatible and appropriate ways. This involves communicating better the intent of the citywide compatible infill zoning ordinance, as well as education about the range of architectural expressions that can contribute to the neighborhood as a whole.

    The Emigration Circle house is a restoration of a 1940’s brick tudor cottage, but there must be a place in our neighborhoods for flat roof mid-century modern ranches, International style boxes, prairie style, or other architectural expressions that in their scale, window placement, solid to void ratio, materials and composition, can contribute to an enriched neighborhood dialog.

    If the K.E.E.P. Yalecrest committee wants credibility and broad support from the neighborhood and Salt Lake City as a responsible advocacy organization, then your efforts should focus on promoting preservation in positive, inclusive and solution oriented activities and education.

    Respectfully,


    Warren Knight Lloyd AIA LEED AP

  2. Warren,
    Thank you for your thoughtful and informative response. Our board values and appreciates your expertise, experience and past service. You can be and have been a wealth of information and have provided that with your response.

    I apologize if my update letter was misleading to you, that was certainly not the intent. Not at all. I can now also understand how someone might have confused the words I used re: contributing. You are completely right in your pointing out that those houses outside of the Yalecrest boundaries cannot be classified as such without their own survey. I thought I had avoided using that specific term to the projects outside of the RLS area of Yalecrest. Again my wording could have been more accurate, there was no malintent.

    One of the intents was to show projects near Yalecrest boundaries and to bring awareness to those that may not see the mounting pressure of development just outside our boundaries. This pressure was evident during the States moratorium on Yalecrest and with the expiration of it in May, we are seeing much more activity within our own boundaries. A snapshot in September counted 22 major projects occurring evidenced by either dumpsters or outhouses in front of the properties.

    We as a board and as residents of Yalecrest feel vulnerable. Nothing has changed and the status quo continues. Wasatch Hollow Community has been in the news and is also facing its own challenges similar to Yalecrest without the benefit of their own RLS.

    Our goal, as stated in our mission statement of K.E.E.P. Yalecrest (Keep Educating and Encouraging Preservation of Yalecrest) is to help preserve and protect the Yalecrest neighborhood, designated on the National Register of Historic Places, by providing advocacy, education and recognition of its community, history, landscapes and historic architecture. You are absolutely right in your ‘What We Need’ summation paragraph. As you stated, residents should be provided guidance and encouragement to renovate (and evolve) in architecturally compatible and appropriate ways, this is part of our endeavors.

    We have focused on positive and inclusive activities, workshops and more as you have suggested. Communication is paramount and our website is full of links and provides answers and education. In our short period of existence we have provided several educational opportunities including the walking tour, a tax credit workshop with a repeat of that coming up and a sustainability workshop. We plan to continue these efforts with a workshop in the Spring on retrofitting and preparing your home in the event of an earthquake. We had received interest in that topic from a previous workshop.

    Everyone benefits from more education and we couldn’t think of anyone more qualified than you to also contribute to our education and workshop sessions. Please let us know if you’d be interested in partnering.

    We have been doing the best we can with the collective knowledge we have, and of course we all have room for improvement. I’d like to reiterate, I certainly was not trying to confuse, mislead, or be inaccurate in that update. I apologize if you felt it was any of those.

    In closing I’d appreciate you forwarding this to anyone who might have also felt as you did after receiving the Oct. 23 update.

    Thank you,

    Jon Dewey
    President
    K.E.E.P. Yalecrest
    https://keepyalecrest.org/

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