The Liberty Wells neighborhood runs from 1300 South to 2100 South and from State Street to 700 East and includes a assortment of historic Utah architecture. With over half of the homes being built in the 1920s, the area has a large number of bungalows, but also contains many Victorian style homes. This neighborhood tells the story of a streetcar suburb where commuters went to work faithfully every day, children walked to school, and business and community leaders were part of a tight-knit community.
In 1992 the neighbors witnessed a rapid expansion and demolition of homes in the area by a local institutional facility. The expansion came with the promise of it being the end of demolition and that the existing footprint would be maintained. A small area master plan for the neighborhood reinforced that sentiment.
In the meantime, many people moved into this neighborhood and they did so for the very reason that the homes are historic and there is a true neighborhood feel. So in 2008, when they heard of a proposal by this same institution that threatened to demolish as many as seven historic houses, they rallied.
With the fear of past promises being broken, the Liberty Wells neighbors took it upon themselves to become experts in master planning, zoning, and historic preservation to petition the Planning Commission and City Council to stop the expansion. Starting with distributing flyers while dog walking, the support snowballed to meetings in the street and eventually meeting individually with members of City Council.
The residents of Liberty Wells are proof that grassroots advocacy has the power to preserve our history and your neighborhood.
Utah Heritage Foundation presented the Liberty Wells Neighbors with a Heritage Award for their success in advocating for preservation.