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The Star Hotel - Historic or Not - the Owners Want to Demolish It

Melissa Allison
Owners of the Star Hotel want to demolish the condemned building or sell it and move on.

The Historic Preservation Board is meeting at the Marsac building Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. to look at the application for the Star Hotel, located at 227 Main St. Though condemned - the former boarding house is on the Historic Site Inventory. The owners have applied to have it removed so they can legally demolish it.  

Park City planning director Bruce Erickson said the city’s first obligation is to preserve the history of Park City.

“This is a very special commercial building on Main St.," Erickson said. "This isn’t a historical house in a neighborhood with a 100 houses around it. This is the only one with a Spanish-Revival facade. This is one of the very few that has gone through the transition - very much like Park City did where we started out with an old miners house. The miner’s house was swallowed up in a boarding house when the US Government decided that it wasn’t a good idea to require miners to live in mining company provided housing. So, then it was a Miners boarding house and then it was a whiskey distillery during Prohibition so, I think there’s going to be a way to preserve what Main St. looks like – do our best to protect that building and then reconstruct the rest of it for adaptive reuse.”

City planner Anya Grahn said right now the city is just looking at whether or not it belongs in the inventory.

“There are certain things we’re going to have to look at more closely when we have a development plan in front of us," Grahn said. "As to whether or not it has to be reconstructed or panelized or if it can be preserved and whole as it is – that’s something that’s going to have to be looked at by the Historic Preservation Board at a later date. Right now we’re just looking at, ‘Is it historic? Does it belong in our inventory?”

Grahn said they’ve found only one hiccup with the building that prevents it from being a Landmark structure.

“The one part that I think that we found didn’t comply was listing it as a landmark structure," Grahn said. "And Landmarks a are the highest designation meaning that they are eligible for the national register of historic places. We think there’s been a few alterations that make it ineligible for that but definitely still historic in our local inventory.”

The hotel was originally a simple house built in 1885. In the 1920’s the owners tacked on a Spanish-Revival facade when they turned it into a boarding house. Even though that was an addition, it’s something Grahn said the city wants to preserve.

“The changes that were made to convert the house into the Star Hotel in the 1920’s have gained significance on their own," Grahn said. "There’s so much of it there that really it’s the Star Hotel and the Spanish-Revival look that we want to preserve - not so much the house that’s been swallowed by it.”

Not far from the Star Hotel sits the old Centennial building on upper Main St. that was condemned several years ago and continues to sit in ruin with the owners doing nothing about it. Erickson said the city does not want a repeat with the Star Hotel.