Lasson & Norman Auto Company opened their showroom in this building on Highway 89 in Mt. Pleasant in 1947. The building had offices, but was mostly comprised of a large showroom that displayed the latest models from Detroit. They also had a small gas station and dispensed gasoline from a row of pumps standing outside.
Since then the building has seen significant changes. The structure was expanded to the west by the construction of two additional service bays and gray vinyl lap siding was applied to the exterior walls, covering some of the windows and doors. Another project changed the original barrel roof to a pitched triangular roof.
As excellent stewards of Mount Pleasant’s historic buildings, Wasatch Academy noticed this building was not only in need of some major renovation work, but also needed a new tenant. So they raised funds to acquire the building and create a much needed center for their visual arts classes. Work included a complete a seismic upgrade, removal of the vinyl siding, and repair of the original red brick and cinder block. The most noticeable difference visually was the removal of the pitched roof and the restoration of the existing windows to their original specifications. They also replaced the solid overhead doors accessing the west service bays with windowed units.
Today the Studio Arts Center is an open-air art workspace with storage and maintenance rooms that are topped by a mezzanine. The area is partitioned to create five defined spaces: a gallery to display student projects; a studio for fashion design and printmaking classes; a space for student collaboration; a drawing and painting studio; and a photography studio and darkroom. The old service bays were converted into a ceramics studio.
The Studio Arts Center advances the project-based-learning philosophy of Wasatch Academy and provides unique learning opportunities for its students as well as members of the community. The facility also fosters the cultural and economic growth of Mount Pleasant’s commercial district and the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area along Heritage Highway 89.