Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Tribune file photo) Patrons fill the Walker Bank lobby in this 1940 photo.
Salt Lake’s Walker Center marks 100-year milestone
Preservation » Crowd celebrates history and future of Main Street mainstay.
First Published Dec 06 2012 10:45 am • Last Updated Apr 08 2013 11:32 pm

Community leaders, the building’s owners and others gathered on Main Street Thursday to celebrate the centennial of Walker Center, unveiling a window display that highlights the history of what was once the tallest structure between the Missouri River and the West Coast.

About 150 people joined James "Jim" Tozer Jr. and Raju Shah at their building in downtown Salt Lake City to view the display, which will available to the public through the end of January. Along with photos taken through the years of the historic 20-story "high-rise" there’s a sugar confection replica of Walker Center that features 750 windows veiled in a boiled sugar syrup created by Carrie Biggers, owner of Carrie’s Cakes.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Tozer said a remodeling in recent years created interior spaces with all the modern amenities, "except here you can [still] open the windows."

Co-owner Shah said surveys have shown that Walker Center, its signature Weather Tower sign beaming high overhead, "is the most recognized building in Utah." He added that after 100 years, "there are no structural flaws no structural flaws."

Also providing official remarks Thursday were representatives of assorted city and state agencies. But the crowd included folks who just plain love Walker Center.

"It’s a beloved building. It has been a part of the Utah landscape," said Linda Elder of Salt Lake City. "I’m thrilled that it’s being preserved and used."

The Walker Center, at 175 S. Main St., has a stone façade adorned with majestic lion medallions, statues of eagles and other architectural embellishments. The building’s original owners were brothers Samuel, Joseph, David and Matthew Walker, who owned and operated a mercantile business in the late 1800s. Construction began on Nov. 1, 1911, and a little more than 13 months later, the grand opening was staged and tenants moved in.

Fast-forward to 2005, and a group of private investors took an interest in purchasing and renovating the 110,000-square-foot structure. Walker Center Associates, led by principals Shah and Tozer, completed the purchase in 2006 and proceeded with a full renovation, working with the city to preserve elements integral to the building’s heritage.

Tozer and Shah also received approval to rebuild and place the 64-foot Weather Tower in March 2008.

The tower’s sign illuminates the downtown skyline with colors to represent the type of weather expected. Blue indicates clear skies; flashing blue, cloudy skies; red, rain; and flashing red snow.

story continues below
story continues below

In 2006, the building was included in the Salt Lake City Register of Cultural Resources and placed on the National Register of Historic Places.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.