Local Issues, Provo History

Future of City Hall Corner

Click to see original imageWith the doom of the old Provo City Hall apparently sealed, it is hoped that a great deal of planning will go into landscaping of the key downtown corner to make it a beauty spot of special dimension.

This apparently will be the responsibility of Utah County officials, since Provo City sold its third interest in the City-County Block to the county.

One idea which may have considerable merit would be to erect an imposing fountain as a central structure of the landscaping pattern.

This would seem appropriate, undoubtedly, to a great many older Provoans who remember with a degree of nostalgia the large fountain which once stood in the middle of the Center Street – University Avenue intersection, a few rods from the old city building. Once one of Provo’s best-known landmarks, the fountain was removed in the early Thirties when it became a problem in the increasing traffic pattern.

The old city hall, vacant and in a state of disrepair, has been marked by city and county officials for demolition, with a contract already awarded. The decision followed a period of study by the city and county of pros and cons involved. A petition bearing some 180 signatures had requested hearings be held on the issue. It was submitted by the Committee on Spending and Taxation (COST), which favored saving the hall.

Judging by records dug up by county officials, the old building, erected early in this century, has had a rather precarious existence ever since the Twenties when the present County Building was erected. City an county officials at that time were requesting removal of the building to enhance and beautify the block. The postal department wasn’t prepared at that time to erect a new post office.

In 1938, when the next Provo post office was erected at First North and First West (presently the federal building) the federal government sold the building to the city and county for “temporary” use as city offices. Sale price was $12,000.

In the city-county agreement of 1967 when Utah County purchased Provo City’s share of the block, it was provided that as soon as Provo’s new city center was completed the city would demolish the old structure preparatory to landscaping by the county.

The building was vacated by the city when it moved into the new center last spring.

The county block can and should be one of the showcase areas of the entire Utah County. It is important therefore that an excellent landscaping plan be developed when the old city hall has been removed, with every possibility of merit considered.

Above all, our officials should not yield to a tempting trend of this day and age – and turn the corner into a parking lot.

Efficiency That Makes Scents

How often has it been said that if only the government were operated as efficiently as private business, the national budget could be cut, the federal payroll trimmed, the public debt wiped out and taxes slashed?

But consider this example of business “efficiency”: Newspaper editors, business writers and other journalists across the country recently received a news release from one of the nation’s largest conglomerates.

The release was mailed, on a Friday – air mail, special delivery – even though it could be expected that it would not be found on their desks by the majority of recipients until the following Monday, if that soon.

Postage costs: 71 cents per mailing.

What was the earthshaking news contained in the release, which could have been delivered just as quickly for only 8 or at the most 16 cents? An announcement that one of the conglomerate’s divisions was planning ** story hotel in a sou *** the sort ** wait for