GHOSTS AND HOBBITS
I finished out high school at Wasatch Academy in Sanpete County. I was sent to this small private school to ‘reform’. I graduated with dreams of going to medical school and got accepted to the University of Utah. Sadly, I lasted like two quarters there because the classrooms were filled with hundreds of students and I was used to classes with 5-10 people at the most. Friends I’d gone to school with before had enrolled at Westminster … ‘the party school’ and encouraged me to switch over. I did, and ended up graduating twice with two B.S. 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 and across the street was this scary but beautiful privately owned compound/greenspace called Allen Park. There were a few rental cabins in that 7-acres that went for like 80% less than market value back then. But a tenant had to put up with a constant barrage of people like me wandering around in there mentally altered looking at all the weird sculptures the original owner had put in, feeding the remaining peacocks and birds wandering around and hunting for ghosts and hobbits. Yup, the place was full of ghosts and hobbits. I know I saw misty apparitions several times with friends, but we never saw hobbits. Allan Park was the creation of Dr. George Allen who loved birds and back in the 1930’s he was a well known man of means who served on the Salt Lake Zoological Society and helped start Hogle Zoo and get it’s animals there from what is now Tracy Aviary. He put in ponds, fountains, birdcages and mosaic artworks all over his large chunk of land with religious and spiritual sayings. Long story made short, the family had died off and is about to be bulldozed for up to 60 new high end homes. The developer, Rinaldo Hunt wants to preserve the pieces of art that are salvageable and allow for public greenspace (think east to west trail through the property). He’s got a battle ahead of him because neighbors, who’s homes now have great financial value due to the rise in property sales, LOVE the green spaces behind their homes along Emigration Creek on each side of the park on Westminster and Downington Avenue above 1300 East. They don’t want to see high density homes in there. His design team says he wants 7.5 units per acre. The loss of beautiful old and healthy trees and birdlife is a real concern in a city that battles dirty air. There are many meetings for community input with the Sugar House Community Council and later with Salt Lake City Planning and Zoning. If you live in the area and know weird old dilapidated Alan Park and love every odd bit and tree in there, pay attention and get to the meetings or follow the Community Council online. BTW, it’s fenced off now, so no hobbit hunting for you!