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Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Ghosts and Hobbits

Posted By on January 29, 2020, 4:00 AM

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I graduated high school with dreams of going to medical school, and was accepted to the University of Utah. Sadly, I lasted maybe two quarters. The classrooms were filled with hundreds of students, and I was used to classes with 5-10 people. Some of my friends had enrolled at Westminster College—"the party school"—and encouraged me to switch. I did, and ended up graduating twice with two degrees in behavioral sciences/English and business marketing with an art minor. I partied so much the first four years, I had to go back and get another degree.

I lived in the dorms for a few years.Across the street, there was this scary but beautiful privately owned property called Allen Park. There were a few rental cabins in those seven acres that went for maybe 80% less than market value. But a tenant had to put up with a constant barrage of people (like me) wandering around looking at all the weird sculptures, feeding the peacocks and birds, and hunting for ghosts and hobbits. Yup, the place was full of ghosts and hobbits. I saw misty apparitions several times with friends—but never hobbits.

Allen Park was the creation of Dr. George Allen, who loved birds. Back in the 1930s, he was a well-known man of means who served on the Salt Lake Zoological Society. At Allen Park, he built ponds, fountains, birdcages and mosaic artworks with religious and spiritual sayings.

Long story short, as City Weekly first reported in January of last year, the family is no longer around and the property is now about to be bulldozed to make way for up to 60 new high-end homes. The developer, Rinaldo Hunt, wants to preserve the pieces of art that are salvageable and allow public green space (think an east-to-west trail through the property). He's facing a battle because neighbors, whose homes are valuable, love the green spaces along Emigration Creek. They don't want to see high density homes. His design team says he wants 7.5 units per acre. Hence, the loss of beautiful old and healthy trees and bird life is a real concern.

Upcoming meetings are scheduled for public input with the Sugar House Community Council and later with Salt Lake City Planning and Zoning Commission. If you live in the area and know of weird old dilapidated Allen Park—and love every odd bit and tree in there—pay attention and attend the sessions. By the way, it's fenced off now, so no hobbit hunting for you!

About The Author

Babs Delay

Babs Delay

Bio:
De Lay is realtor/broker/owner of Urban Utah Homes and Estates. She is a former member of the Utah Transit Authority's Board of Trustees.

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