Time for another field trip!
I reported to work at 11 am, and took lunch at 1, for an hour to go for a local site look-see.
The Salt Lake City and County Building has been on my "gotta see" list ever since the first time I visited SLC many years ago.
Especially with FOUR Christmas trees and huge wreaths festively festooning the entrance.
Don't the buildings built in the late 1800's have amazing detailing?
Wouldn't it have been fascinating to watch the tracery being carved into the sandstone?
The fact that the building was built long before power tools were created causes me to appreciate the work all the more.
Even the plate behind the doorhandles (which are pretty spiffy in their own right...) is elaborate as fine sterling silver tableware.
(The drawback of noodling around history sites without a tour guide is having unanswered questions like that one. Of course, I have been with lots of totally clueless tour guides too...so maybe I really wasn't missing out on anything by being on my own. Maybe just reading up on the building will be better anyway...)
Other floors had tile patterns.
I had never seen a round radiator like this one before.
The marble behind it was pretty interesting too...actually it is onyx according to the history site. Onyx locally mined with fossils embedded here and there.
Gentlemens Toilet" which faced identical doors marked "Ladies Toilet". So mannerly!
How did we get from that to the modern taciturn "Mens" and "Womens" signs?
Or worse, the signs with the odd little shapes, with a triangle under a circle representing a woman?
All the doors in the building were very tall. Just opening the Ladies door made me feel like there was going to be something quite remarkable inside.
Up the stairs was a display about the 2002 Olympics that was held in SLC. The flags, signatures of all the American athletes, and random things.
SLC, going back to 1860.
This semi-modern mayor's image gave me the creeps.
He also reminded me of one of the characters in movie "The Princess Bride".
Another wall of displays informed me of the fact that SLC has a "Sister City": Matsumoto City, Japan.
Funny how many cities that I have lived in have sister cities in little old Japan.
Matsumoto has sent us some really cool gifts!
I wonder what we sent them...and where they keep our gifts.
(Actually he was mayor back in the 1970's...and I remember lot of men, including my dad, wearing similar attire during those years.)
I think I discovered a fact that would make for a great novel plot in the building:
At one point the building served as the State Senate Building.
Utah Senator Martha Hughes Cannon, a noted physician, was the first female state senator in our nation’s history. She served in the Utah Senate after defeating her husband, Angus, in the 1896 election. Room 335 of the building is named in her honor.
Martha must have been one heck of a gal run against her husband and win!
Wouldn't you love to know what that marriage was like behind closed doors?
It cost $892,534 to build the building in 1894; restoration cost $31,192,500 in 1989.
Well worth every penny I'd say!
A beautiful coved ceiling pattern overhead....
I did see the Mayor's office though. The lights were on and people were working. I suppose I could have just walked on in, but decided I just wasn't interested in accidentally meeting the man. Especially since I am not really sure what his name is anyway.
Seriously...what a beautiful but expensive detail! How did the tax payers of 1890 feel about all these expensive details?
I'm thinking it didn't bother them at all. They were proud of their building...but it would be an interesting research project to see if there were any protesting letters to the editor about it way back when.
Compared to the state capitol, the City and Country building was pretty simple. I was in and out of there in about a half hour, even with visiting all five floors.
Don't you love the little face tucked up in the sand stone carving?
(Another little details that I want to know more about!)
As usual, I was behatted. As I was pounding up the stairs, I passed by a woman heading downstairs.
"I love your hat!" she called out as she passed me on the staircase.
Funny...I had forgotten I even was wearing a hat!
Out on the grounds are two matching fountains that were filled with snow. The water was turned off for the winter and the dense growths of summer were long gone. Back in the 1950's they TORE OUT THE FOUNTAINS!!! The fountains were considered too "old fashioned" at the time. Thank goodness they were able to restore them later.
It was lovely...and hard to imagine that just a few months before it had been surrounded by several layers of protesting polygamist! Yes, this was the park where all the FLDS men and women had gathered to protest a court case last summer. Back then it was hot and thick with people; now the grounds were cold and I was totally alone.
(Maybe I should have tried a few more doors...rattled knobs until I found the secret passage way to the top! Maybe there would have been a mystery I could of solved with my friends Bess and George. Oh wait...that would be a Nancy Drew story...and I am pretty sure those stories didn't take place in Utah. Otherwise Nancy wouldn't have been an only child!)
Even something as simple as a slotted park bench becomes photogenic when snow is added to the austere lines.
SLC's motto is "The Greatest Snow On Earth!" Dry and powdery, I could send the snow in my glove into the air with a puff of breath; each snowflake was as light as a dandelion seed.
The shadows from the bare trees create veins and arteries that seem to glow from beneath the whitest of white skin.
Another charming statue: a school age boy and girl, with the boy pointing upward to the flag. The children of SLC raised the funds for this back in the 1930's as a tribute to our nations Constitution and flag.
Wonder why children don't seem interested in doing that sort of thing with their pennies nowadays? I suppose saving up for Gameboys and what-not costs too much for making this kind of purchase.
Knowing that the statue was erected in the '30's I was not surprised to find the Pledge Of Allegiance to be missing a phrase: "Under God" was added after the words "One nation" a few years later.
I would not be surprised to hear that those words have been deleted again soon.
Boy...I really, REALLY would like to walk up to the little area underneath the statue. I'll bet that would be an amazing view...
Apparently they do offer tours of the clock and its working sometimes.
Something to look forward to....someday. In the meantime I am satisfied with the views I did get.
Good old Salt Lake City: We get free parking during the Christmas season!