Only minutes from downtown Salt Lake City, Memory Grove Park has long been an urban oasis. The park's tranquil historic landscape and stately monuments provide a place for contemplation and recreation to city residents. The tornado of August 1999 devastated Memory Grove. In just ten seconds, it destroyed nearly 400 trees and left the park's infrastructure in disarray.
Salt Lake City Corporation immediately began working to repair this tear in the city's historic fabric. Creating the Memory Grove Concept Plan was the first step in the process. Landmark Design, Inc. worked with a steering committee composed of numerous community stakeholders to identify and prioritize key improvements for the park. Landmark Design's extensive research and documentation of the park's historic features also helped guide the plan.
The subsequent renovation both preserved Memory Grove's historic character and enhanced its ability to function as a busy park. The project included planting over 350 new trees, reconstructing the historic steps to Capitol Hill, repairing damaged memorials, and re-establishing formal rows of sugar maples along Canyon Road. Three new plazas, a unified palette of furnishings and light fixtures, and a well-connected system of pathways complement the park's historic setting.
Stabilizing steep slopes to prevent further erosion and introducing drought-tolerant plants were also important aspects of the project. Three public planting events involved hundreds of city residents in restoring the park's landscape and learning about water conservation.
Memory Grove Park is vibrant once again. The renovation has returned one of Salt Lake City's treasures to her people.