Hello, My name is Kristina and I have a thing for historic buildings. Particularly historic buildings in the Wild West. So lucky for me, I sell real estate in an old silver town turned ski resort. Two years ago I toured 323 Park Ave, A CONVERTED SWEDISH LUTHERAN CHURCH OMG. And, it’s now for sale. If it lasts that long, it’ll be on Open House tour Wednesday, December 9, 2015, and you’d be crazy to miss it. So get ready. Imma lay down some sick history beats.
I saw this house during the Park City Museum’s Historic Home Tour. If you’re ever in Park City in June you have to attend this event.
It’s just a few doors up from where I was living in Old Town and true to rumor, is a converted church and on the national historic registry and obviously the Historic Sites Inventory with Park City. An English-born butcher John William Bircumshaw (who also owned a saloon at 455 Main) deeded the land to St. John’s Swedish Lutheran Church in 1906. In 1907 the structure was built at a cost of $2,197 to serve the 31 local Lutherans (9 Swedes and 22 Finns, for those keeping score at home).
Shortly after the building’s dedication, the original pastor and organizer of the project, Oscar Anton Elmquist, accepted a pastorate in Iowa. He had been traveling to Park City from Ogden for services. Apparently, there was never another resident minister, though pastors would travel in from the larger congregations in Salt Lake City and Ogden for church services and to officiate weddings and funerals. Worth noting, the building never had indoor plumbing and was heated only by one stove, clear through the 1940s. By 1966 the building was abandoned and deeded to the Pacific Southwest Synod of the Lutheran Church.
Now, fun fact: Park City in the 1950s and early 60s was nearly a ghost town. Summit county saw unemployment rates of over 13% and the town was starving to death mining lead, zinc and silver. Treasure Mountain ski resort–now Park City Resort–was only opened in 1963 by United Park City Mines with money from a federal grant meant to convert the mining mountain into a winter recreational destination to try to save the town. That grant was signed by President John F. Kennedy.
The church building was then sent to auction where L. Virginia Santy (!) and Olga Guillaume purchased it. John and Nicky Price in 1973 purchased the property and converted it to a residence. It was purchased by Marion Lintner in 1974 WHO HAS OWNED IT EVER SINCE.
For real go back and click all those links. Especially the ones in bold. Amazing. I cannot wait to show you the inside.
UPDATE 12/4/15: BEHOLD THE VIRTUAL TOUR