Sugar House Monument Plaza officially opens

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City and Sugar House community leaders cut a ribbon to officially open the Sugar House Monument Plaza. Photo by Isaac Riddle.
A new water feature and the recently opened Sugar House Monument Plaza.  Photo by Isaac Riddle.
A new water feature and the recently opened Sugar House Monument Plaza. Photo by Isaac Riddle.

Sugar House has an abundance of open space.  The neighborhood has two large parks directly adjacent to the business district including Sugar House park, the City’s largest park.  Hidden Hollow, a small nature trail park connects Sugar House park via the Draw to the business district and the S-Line Greenway.

“We have a lot of open space and parks, but we don’t have a lot of social space outside of Downtown,” said former City Council member, Søren Simonsen.

Sugar House has the Sugarmont Plaza, a surface parking lot that serves as a public plaza during summer months, but that plaza is temporary.  Sugar House Monument Plaza, Sugar House’s new social gathering place officially opened Friday morning in a ribbon cutting ceremony led by City Council member Stan Penfold and DJ Baxter of the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City (RDA).

“We hope the community views this place as the outdoor living they have always wanted,” said Baxter.

Construction of the Sugar House Monument Plaza began in September 2014.  The plaza and its monument have long been considered the center of the Sugar House Business District.  Yet the original plaza was essentially a concrete island dominated by a large bus shelter and separated from the neighborhood by streets on all sides.

The $2.5 million renovation features nearly an acre of public open space, reactivation of the historic monument’s fountain, installation of a new interactive water feature, outdoor dining and public art. The new area will accommodate civic events such as the Fourth of July Arts Festival, Sugar House Art Walk and Sugar House Pub Crawl.

“This plaza captures the modern with the historic,” said Summer Shumway of the Sugar House Chamber.

Friday evening, the Sugar House Community Council and Sugar House Chamber will lower a time capsule consisting of artifacts and photos gathered from local residents and businesses into the ground along 2100 South.  The time capsule will be opened in 2054, to celebrate the 200 year anniversary of the neighborhood.

“The renovation has really added a fabulous, new and community-friendly public space to our historic Sugar House neighborhood,” said Mayor Ralph Becker. “It’s been exciting to watch the ongoing evolution of our ‘second downtown’ and is further evidence that Salt Lake City is booming in every arena.”

Cyclists pass several RDA employees on opening day of the Sugar House Monument Plaza.  Photo by Isaac Riddle.
Cyclists pass several RDA employees on opening day of the Sugar House Monument Plaza. Photo by Isaac Riddle.
About Isaac Riddle 630 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.