Summarized by Kent Larsen
Friends Of Gilgal Still Need A Little More To Complete Sale
Salt Lake Tribune 29Apr00 A4
By Rebecca Walsh: Salt Lake Tribune
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- Salt Lake's Gilgal Garden is on its way to
becoming a city park. The group of preservationists trying to save
the property now only needs to raise an additional $75,000 to seal
the deal. Unfortunately, the group has about one month left until the
scheduled transfer date, June 10th.
"We're so close now," said Julia Robertson from Friends of Gilgal.
"We can't let that happen. But we have to have the purchase amount
before we can talk about anything else." The Friends need $25,000 to
complete the purchase of the garden and an additional $50,000 for
one-time restoration and repairs of the sculptures in the garden and
the property. Without the money, the deal could crumble and the
unique sculpture garden destroyed.
The garden is the creation of LDS bishop Thomas Child, a stonemason
and sculptor Maurice Brooks, who filled the garden with an eclectic
group of sculptures and stoneworks, many of which reflect LDS themes.
When Child died in 1963, the garden was purchased by Henry Fetzer,
who's children are now trying to sell the garden because the
liability and maintenance have become too much for the family.
The Friends of Gilgal started three years ago, persuading the Fetzer
family to not sell the garden to a Canadian real estate company that
wanted to build condominiums. Persuading the San Francisco-based
Trust for Public Lands to intervene and buy an option on the
property, they then started raising the money needed to make the
purchase. The LDS Church pledged $100,000, as did the Eccles
Foundation. Salt Lake County then pledged $400,000, nearly completing
the purchase price.
Even the Fetzer family has decided that it is important to preserve
the garden, "This has been going on for quite a while," Brian Fetzer
said. "But I want it preserved. This is a treasure."