November 13, 2012 – Washington Elementary
The Workshop included interactive discussions about the existing character of the neighborhood, addressing the characteristics that make it unique and different from other Salt Lake City neighborhoods.
To begin that discussion, Blalock & Partners first provided an overview of the history and development of the area. The area served by the new branch library was initially settled in 1847, in the district now known as the Guadalupe Neighborhood – bordered, today, at the north and south by 600 North and North Temple, and at the east and west by 400 and 700 West. These early residents were drawn to Salt Lake City for the development and construction of the Denver / Rio Grande Railroad, as well as for the construction of the LDS Temple.
The development of another distinct neighborhood developed around another major north/south artery, 300 West, at approximately the same time period. The West Capitol Neighborhood straddled 300 West from the 1850’s through the 1930’s, and extended beyond 800 North from North Temple. Like the Guadalupe District, the West Capitol Neighborhood developed due to the early roadway establishing connections to the north.
The Marmalade Neighborhood itself developed as a need for permanent residences arose. As a result of this and earlier developments, there was also a demand for businesses and services: markets, trade shops, bakeries, and stores were sprinkled throughout the Marmalade, Guadalupe and West Capitol neighborhoods. Due to the soil conditions, and fed from underground springs and snow runoff, the Marmalade District became known for its fruit-bearing trees – quince, almond and apricot – from which marmalade and jams were produced.
The Marmalade Library will seek to embrace the unique characteristics of all the neighborhoods it serves. One of the design challenges is to ensure that the library embraces the diversity and history of everything and everyone associated with the development of this District.
After reviewing the history of the area’s development, the Workshop focused on defining the character of the District. Blalock & Partners walked the community participants through the decision making process about how the library’s location on the site was established. And, the public was informed about the primary spaces and services planned for incorporation based upon prior community input.
Blalock & Partners asked the participants to provide their insights as to what makes the Marmalade District uniquely different from other established city districts. Their responses:
The physical character of the District iteslf:
Existing Neighborhood / Community / History
Numerous attractions w/in walking distance – unique proximity to downtown and newer development
Old 24th Ward Building
Washington Elementary (School District)
Homes have character (individual)
Porches, windows, tree lined streets, trees, history, charm
Colors, shades, brick
Blossoms, planting, greenery (multi-color, multi-seasonal)
Backyards (small, steep, plants, flowers, etc… – unique)
Hills / Narrow Streets
Narrow Streets creating diverse land forms
Trees and Landscape
Street Names reflect the history: Quince, Almond, etc.
Diversity, Ethnicity, Architecture
Hot Springs (Beck Street)
Community / Industrial Character
Rocky Mountain Honey, etc…
No “Cookie Cutter” buildings
The experiences associated with living in the District itself:
Crumbly / Well Worn (i.e. San Francisco)
Happy / Welcoming
Comfortable / Familiar
The types of structures contributing to the character and feel of the District:
Architecture / Planning – authentic and organic
Housing Density / Re-use of Property
Evolution of structures; puzzle-like – additions & rework define each step of the process
Commercial Entities – homes converted to small business and shops / commercial buildings becoming residences
The Workshop attendees went on to discuss the Library development, specifically. Blalock & Partners asked the participants to provide some thoughts on their vision for how the library should feel, the experience it should convey to visitors, and how the architecture should be expressed.
Experience related comments:
Open / Light
Cozy / Warm
Architecture related comments:
Monumental / “Historically New” / Unique
Brick, Sandstone, Limestone, Texture, Wood,
Masonry, Granite, Corten Steel
Glass, Natural Light
Material that age well / Weathering / Evolution of Time
Spaces for kids and parents
Safe, secure space for children
Textures (ground plane)
Shade a must
Be mindful materials used, in terms of radiant heat
The Library Vision portion of the Workshop included discussions about images presented in terms of appropriateness for the project or opinions on specific use. The images presented here are not intended to suggest an architectural solution or material, but represent a cross section of some of the images reviewed. In general, the group favored abundant natural light and a diverse material expression.