Long story short, I was asked to tour a Japanese film crew around the Capitol City for a friend. They were here featuring a local business but wanted content about our fair city. They had already been here once before and shot film in and around Temple Square so I was responsible for suggesting places to visit off the beaten path that your typical tourist might miss. Since part of my job as a real estate broker is to tour potential buyers moving to the area around it was an easy task, made easier for me as I’m the volunteer Chair of the Historic Landmarks Commission for Salt Lake City!
I picked up the crew from their hotel and lucky for me they spoke English. First stop, a drive downtown around Temple Square to explain the current scaffolding around the LDS Temple and then a photo stop at the Lion House. “Lion of the Lord” was one of Brigham Young’s nicknames, and he lived at 63 E. South Temple where he ultimately fathered 57 children by more than two dozen wives.
Next, up and around the state capitol building and then into the historic Avenues past the grand old Victorian, Federalist and Craftsman homes up to the Mid-Mod area of Pill Hill where we toured a home for sale with sweeping views of the valley where I pointed out the geographical benches (foothills), the Rio Tinto mine, Mt. Nebo (you can see it’s peak from the top of the Avenues). Then, off to the ultimate oddity-Gilgal Sculpture Garden at 749 E. 500 So. (free). This little public park is the legacy of Thomas Child’s desire to give physical form to his deep-felt religious beliefs, and the garden contains 12 amazing stone sculptures and 70 stones engraved with scriptures, poems and philosophical tests that rang true to his spiritual quest. I had to take the immediately to see what I call ‘Mr. Brick Pants’-one of the largest sculptures in the garden, as much else was covered in snow. They ooo’d and awed and took lots of video before I shuffled them back in the car to drive them by Trolley Square (the original service barns of a long gone trolley car system in the city), Liberty Park to our final destination…the ‘World’s First Kentucky Fried Chicken’ store!
Harland Sanders created his secret recipe for fried chicken in 1940. He met Pete and Arline Harman at a convention and they made a deal to franchise Sanders restaurant at his motel in So. Carolina. The host of the program informed me that it’s tradition for Japanese to order KFC as a Christmas day delicacy in their country and they photographed the museum pieces at the flagship store at State and 3900 So. They bought swag there and we ended up at the Sun Trapp tavern as they wanted to shoot a gay bar in Utah. Fun was had by all and the show should be up in Japan soon!