In Pictures: finding new building uses in Salt Lake

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The headquarters of the School Improvement Network at seen from West Temple. Image by Isaac Riddle.
A 1913 photo of downtown Salt Lake. Image courtesy Flickr user oldeyankee.
A 1913 photo of downtown Salt Lake. Image courtesy Flickr user oldeyankee.

Downtown Salt Lake City has lost many of its historic buildings in the past several decades.  As the city embraced the car, buildings were razed to provide more parking downtown.  New development in the city has often been at the expense of historic buildings.

Not every building can or should be saved, but two recent downtown developments show that through adaptive reuse, many buildings worth saving can find new uses without the need of a wrecking ball.

The advent of the car may have contributed to the loss of dozens of buildings; however, the new headquarters of the School Improvement Network at 669 S. West Temple, was previously a Mark Miller car dealership.  The adaptive reuse was finished earlier this year, converting the auto retail center into a three-story, 135,000 square-foot office building.  The building is also the temporary home of Spy Hop, a nonprofit that mentors youth in the digital media arts.

Centenarian office buildings are also finding new uses.   Clearwater Homes is converting the former Westgate Business Center into the Paragon Station Lofts, a 38-unit residential development on the 300 West block of 200 South.  Construction of the lofts began in early spring of 2015 and should be completed in the next few months.

Scroll down to see before and after photos of both projects.

669 S. West Temple (Headquarters of the School Improvement Network):

Then (2008):

The former Mark Miller Toyota Building as it was in 2009. Image by Google street view.
The former Mark Miller Toyota Building as it was in 2008. Image by Google street view.

Now (2016):

The headquarters of the School Improvement Network at seen from the intersection of 700 South and West Temple. Image by Isaac Riddle.
The headquarters of the School Improvement Network at seen from the intersection of 700 South and West Temple. Image by Isaac Riddle.

Then (2007):

The former Mark Miller Toyota Building as it was in 2007. Image by Google street view.
The former Mark Miller Toyota Building as it was in 2007. Image by Google street view.

Now (2016):

The headquarters of the School Improvement Network at seen from the intersection of 700 South and West Temple. Image by Isaac Riddle.
The headquarters of the School Improvement Network at seen from the intersection of 700 South and West Temple. Image by Isaac Riddle.

Then (2007):

The west side of the former Mark Miller Toyota Building as it was in 2007. Image by Google street view.
The west side of the former Mark Miller Toyota Building as it was in 2007. Image by Google street view.

Now (2016):

The headquarters of the School Improvement Network at seen from West Temple. Image by Isaac Riddle.
The headquarters of the School Improvement Network at seen from West Temple. Image by Isaac Riddle.

Then (2007):

The west side of the former Mark Miller Toyota Building as it was in 2007. Image by Google street view.
The west side of the former Mark Miller Toyota Building as it was in 2007. Image by Google street view.

Now (2016):

The headquarters of the School Improvement Network at seen from West Temple. Image by Isaac Riddle.
The headquarters of the School Improvement Network at seen from West Temple. Image by Isaac Riddle.

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About Isaac Riddle 592 Articles
Isaac Riddle grew up just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. He has a BA in English literature from the University of Utah and a Masters of Journalism from Temple University. Isaac has written for Next City, The Philadelphia Public School Notebook and Salt Lake City Weekly. Before embarking on a career in journalism, Isaac taught High School English in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. Isaac is the founder of Building Salt Lake and can be reached at isaac@buildingsaltlake.com.
  • Newcastle

    The School Improvement Network building turned out pretty nice.

    School Improvement Network = SIN. Seriously, they really didn’t think that one through.