Historic Park City Buildings – My Top 10!

10 Historic Park City Buildings & Why They’re Still Important

Park City is home to a number of historical buildings. They add real charm to our little town, especially for a real estate geek like me. Fortunately, ample foresight has been taken by stakeholders to preserve these beloved structures. They dot the local landscape like old friends and are well preserved and utilized to this day.

The best part about these historic Park City buildings is that they all can still be enjoyed by the public. And they can all be accessed year-round. You can get married in Miner’s Hospital. Grab a cup of coffee at the Park City Library. And spend the afternoon at the Museum. For dinner, head on over to Zoom for the short ribs.

Miner’s Hospital

Miners Hospital Park City Historical BuildingsThe Park City Miner’s Hospital was built in 1904 to provide medical services to the miners in the area. Its original location was at the north side of the Park City ski area. At the time, the closest hospital was in Salt Lake City. That 30-mile journey would have been especially cumbersome in winter. The hospital remained a clinic until the 1950’s. Then it was renovated into a restaurant, bar and youth hostel. In the 1970’s, development plans threatened to demolish the structure and it was moved to the present site in City Park. In 1982, the building was remodeled to contain the Park City Library.

Currently, the Miner’s Hospital is a meeting and event space and can be reserved for meetings, parties or weddings. It is surrounded by beautiful gardens and is easily accessed by public transit, foot or bike.

Park City Library

Park City Historic LibraryThe High School building was built in 1928 and in 1993 the Library moved in. Coincidently, the library did a brief visit back to the hospital in 2015 while the structure went through an extensive renovation.

Now known as the Park City Library and Education Center, the building is truly a location where old meets new. The library has state-of-the-art computer labs, an extensive children’s library and the Park City Roasters coffee shop. Plenty of community activities take place here. Community classes and programs for all ages, the Park City Film Series, the Park City Cooperative Preschool to name a few. Even dogs can enjoy the library as the outdoor field is pet friendly and leash-optional. It’s the only off-leash area in Park City proper.

Park City Museum

Park City MuseumThe Park City Museum can be found in the historic City Hall, which was built in 1885. The original cost to build city hall was $6,400! At that time, Park City’s Main Street was boom town central and many buildings were being built. City Hall was home to the police and fire department as well as the Territorial Jail, all of which remain as exhibits today.

A fire in 1898 destroyed much of the building and others on Main Street. In an effort to prevent future fire catastrophes, a Whistle Tower was built in 1901 to warn residents of fire in the area. In 1905, the whistle was replaced by an electric siren and sounded each night at 10:00 p.m. to warn youngsters of curfew. This prudent tradition continues signaling to Old Town visitors and residents that it is 10 o’clock.

Union Pacific Train Station

Union Pacific Historic RailroadIn 1886, an iconic train station was built at the bottom of Main Street. Its main purpose was to accommodate the transport of silver from the mines. Upon completion, the Park Record wrote, “The building is one of the finest in Park City…the design is modern [and] tasteful and brilliant yellow paint adorns it on all sides.” For about 100 years, this building facilitated travel for freight and passengers. It ceased operations in 1977.

In 1995 Robert Redford renovated the historic Park City building into Zoom Restaurant, part of the Sundance properties. Patrons can enjoy quality American continental cuisine in a fun, memorable atmosphere. As a hallmark of the past, the rail bed remains in place today.

McPolin Barn

McPolin Barn Park CityThe timeless White Barn that marks the corridor into Park City began as a 160-acre farm in 1886. In 1908, the barn was erected with recycled timber without the use of nails. It operated as a dairy farm for many years until the city purchased the property in 1990.

McPolin Farm House

McPolin Farm HouseThe McPolin house was relocated to its current location in the 1920’s. Prior to being a farm house, the charming structure served as a mine office. Park City purchased the farm in 1990 and has refurbished all areas of the farm.

Currently the White Barn is under construction. Yet the bike path, skiing and hiking trails remain available for use. A beloved location for family photos, vista seeking families can often be seen snapping shots around the farm house.

High West’s National Garage

High West Old GarageHigh West’s Old Town location is in two historic buildings. The Saloon is in an old Livery Stable built sometime around 1907. Horses that pulled carts of ore out of the mines were kept there. In fact, the horseshoe seen in the High West logo was a horseshoe found while renovating the livery. The livery would later become the National Garage. When a building across the street went down in flames, the heat was so intense that it peeled other layers of paint from the building.

The National Garage sign boasts a layered patina look that High West has preserved. Whisky lovers and hungry patrons can enjoy a beverage or a delicious meal at the world’s only ski-in-ski-out gastro distillery. A favorite amongst locals and tourists alike.

High West’s Ellsworth J. Beggs House

Ellsworth J. Beggs HouseNext to the National Garage sits the stately Victorian-style Ellsworth J. Beggs house. E.J. Beggs was a master carpenter and built his home in 1914. At the time, it was one of only two Victorian homes in town. Beggs constructed the house right after completing the Summit County Courthouse in Coalville, which stills serves as the County seat.

Now connected to the National Garage, High West patrons can enjoy a meal or expertly mixed drink in one of the charming rooms or on the inviting patio.

Swaner Farm

Swaner BarnThere’s not just one historic white barn in town. This white barn next to Highway 224 is a welcome site as one passes through the bustling Kimball Junction. In fact, the farm was purchased in 1884 by the Kimball family who operated a stagecoach service between Park City and Salt Lake City. The barn itself was built in 1933. It was a farm until the property was purchased by the Swaner Nature Preserve in 2003.

Swaner Stone House

Swaner Stone HouseThe stone house next to the white barn was built in the 1990s. A number of families farmed the area until 2003.

Currently, the house and barn mark a corner of the Swaner Nature Preserve. They are connected via boardwalk to the paved bike path perimeter of Kimball Junction. Eventually, the barn will be fully restored to host community events. But is not currently in use.

A walk around Park City is like a walk through a history book. Whether you are hiking past an old silver mine or viewing fine art in a Main Street gallery. We consider ourselves lucky to be able to enjoy the rich and vibrant history that these buildings offer. These are only ten of Park City’s historic buildings but there are many, many more. Which are your favorites?

References: Park City History | Zoom Park City High West Distillery

A Great Podcast of Things to do and see in Park City by Nancy Tallman for Discovery Map.

Nancy Tallman Featured on Park City Travel Podcast

Discovery Maps Travel PodcastOur own Nancy Tallman is this week’s guest on the popular Discovery Maps podcast series, and this episode is all about Park City! She may be known for real estate, but she also knows our town. Host Mark Ciociola and Nancy cover everything you’d want to know about PC basics and beyond: winter activities, summer activities, favorite special events, where to stay, getting around, family friendly activities, restaurants and much more. Take advice from a 13-year local on all things PC! If you or your out-of-town guests are looking for info on Park City travel, you’ll enjoy this 30-minute podcast at Bit.ly/DiscoveryMap.

How Important is Professional Real Estate Photography to Potential Buyers…VERY!

What 98% of Home Buyers Think of Real Estate Photography

Ninety-eight percent of buyers list real estate photography as “most important” when searching for a property. We know that almost all buyers today begin their home search online. That means a home’s “first showing” is online.

So, how does that explain this photo that I came across on the Park City MLS last week? This home is listed at over $5 million.

Bad Real Estate Photography
How NOT to take photographs of a multi-million dollar home (or any home).

According to a study by Redfin, homes shot with a DSLR* sell for over 10% more.

Is a High End Camera Enough?

Even if an agent owns a high end camera, that doesn’t mean he or she has the expertise to use it properly. Shooting architectural photography is an art and a science. The skilled professional knows how to use composition, color and lighting to make a photo more appealing. The photos used to market a home must not only be high quality, but “inspirational”. They have to connect with the buyer on an emotional level so the buyer will click through the tour and make an appointment to view the home.

The Agent’s Role in Real Estate Photography

At Summit Sotheby’s, we are the only Utah brokerage to employ in-house professional real estate photographers on staff. First, I work with my sellers to ensure their homes are decluttered and ready for photos. Second, I usually meet the photographer at the home to make certain the special features and highlights of the home are reflected in the photographs.

Next, the photos are edited by the photographer and only the best are included in the photo tour. Before the photos are published, I go through the tour myself to ensure the photos are displayed in a logical order. I want the best features of the home at the front of the tour and I want the photos displayed in a logical order so the buyer can understand the flow of the home.

Below is a photo from one of my high end listings. How does this one compare to the photo above?

Good Real Estate Photography
A better example of good real estate photography.

Photos are a critical component of a marketing plan. Buyers can tell the difference between a home that was photographed by an agent using an iPhone versus a home that was prepared for photography, professionally shot, and painstakingly edited. And buyers will pay more for the latter.

*DSLR stands for digital single-lense reflex, a digital camera that combines the optics and the mechanisms of a single-lens reflex camera with a digital imaging sensor, as opposed to photographic film.

Summit Sotheby’s Nancy Tallman Featured on Park City Travel Podcast

Discovery-Maps-Travel-Podcast-300x300

Our own Nancy Tallman is this week’s guest on the popular Discovery Maps podcast series, and this episode is all about Park City! She may be known for real estate, but she also knows our town. Host Mark Ciociola and Nancy cover everything you’d want to know about PC basics and beyond: winter activities, summer activities, favorite special events, where to stay, getting around, family friendly activities, restaurants and much more. Take advice from a 13-year local on all things PC! If you or your out-of-town guests are looking for info on Park City travel, you’ll enjoy this 30-minute podcast at Bit.ly/DiscoveryMap.

Manage the Sundance Film Festival Like a Local

Park City Sundance Film Festival

Sundance is almost here and if you want to manage Sundance like a local, read my friend, Hilary Reiter’s blog, re-posted with permission, from the Historic Park City website.

Having “temporarily” relocated to Park City in 2001 to work in the Press Office of the Sundance Film Festival (and, of course, to ski as much as possible), more than 11 years later I’ve yet to break away from this mountain town paradise. As I approach my 12th Sundance, I figure I’m as qualified as most anyone to offer some insight as to how to get the most from the 10-day Festival extravaganza for those who are not members of the Hollywood jet set. Every year, my friends and I declare, “If you can’t fight ‘em, join ‘em!” This mantra, of course, refers to the crowds of entertainment industry workers, filmmakers, celebrities, media, sponsors (official and guerilla)…and, oh yes, the throngs of gawkers.

So how does one join them, en lieu of fighting them? First, leave the car at home or park at Deer Valley Resort. If the Jennifer Annistons of the world manage to ride the free busses, which run extra frequently during the Festival, so can the little people. In addition to hassle-free transportation, the buses make for great people watching and eavesdropping. And you never know who you’ll meet that will be gracious enough to invite you to that impossible-to-get-into party.

If you want to be immersed in the Main Street bustle, you can’t make your dinner reservations too far in advance. Most restaurants are open to the public, although they may close during certain hours for private functions. Several bars remain open nightly, and celebrity sightings are not uncommon at both watering holes and restaurants if your mission is to stargaze. There are also ticketed shows for national music acts at venues like Park City Live, Downstairs and The Star Bar. Many of the official Sundance sponsors rent storefronts on Main Street and are open to the public, so be sure to explore those as well. If nothing else, you can warm up with a free cup of coffee.

While some residents complain about the Hollywood and New York types who descend on Park City, I have actually found them to be largely considerate of – and even fascinated by – locals. Some festivalgoers are so envious of the well-balanced lifestyle and spectacular natural surroundings we enjoy that they invite us to their shindigs to add some local color. Perhaps it’s because I’m a New Yorker who launched my career in the music industry that I embrace the fast pace and the occasional attitudes of Festival attendees. But, If you live in Park City, work that angle to your advantage – more often than not, you’ll find you are appreciated. Sundance is part of what makes Park City special, so embrace it.

Ultimately, Sundance is and should be about the films and the opportunity to see some rare gems in Park City’s extraordinary, intimate setting. The cast and crew Q&As that follow the screenings are often more satisfying and magical than the films themselves. I must confess that I have never purchased locals tickets to screenings as I never know what my busy schedule will accommodate. I’ve discovered over the years that I manage to see quite a few films, regardless (my record year was 22 screenings, and I never saw the light of day). The crowds dwindle during the second half of the Festival, and it’s easier to get into films after they have screened a couple of times. Waitlist at the larger venues toward the end of the festival, and you’re almost guaranteed a seat if you show up 45 minutes to an hour ahead of the screening time. Oftentimes, people have extra tickets to sell outside the venues. This strategy is advantageous as it allows you to hear word-of-mouth buzz that has generated about the films, so you can make educated choices about what you get tickets for. Extra tickets are also released daily at the Sundance Box Office in the Gateway building at the corner of Swede Alley and Heber Avenue. Don’t waste your time clamoring to get tickets for star-studded films that already have distribution. You can see them shortly after the Festival in theaters. Instead, go for the documentaries or foreign films that you may only have the chance to see during Sundance.

My final tip is perhaps the most prudent – get your flu shot and start your bacteria-fighting regimen now. The influx of big city germs coupled with long days and late nights can be a sickly combination. Pace yourself during the ten days, and you’ll be poised for a Sundance to remember.