Letter: Those who would preserve and repurpose our existing structures — like the LDS Hospital — deserve support

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Intermountain LDS Hospital, on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021.

I agree with Chris Gustavson that the LDS Hospital building should be turned into a homeless shelter, or alternatively, into affordable housing units. It should absolutely not be torn down. Let’s recall that the LDS Church destroyed 30 or 40 single-family, affordable houses in that section of the Avenues to build the main building and the many accompanying parking and ancillary structures.

Now the IHS corporation has apparently outgrown that small parcel of its monolith, and needs more room. I imagine “luxury housing units” are part of the eventual plan. This is outrageous.

It is time for the city to focus on reusing the many buildings that sit empty in the city. I think of the Sears building on State Street and the old public safety building on 200 South. Instead, the city’s plan seems to be: “Wait until it totally deteriorates, then let the developers move in to tear it down.”

Builders who want to build gigantic skyscrapers for luxury renters are given all types of concessions and assistance. Would that the same kind of help were given to those who would preserve and repurpose our existing structures.

Ray Wilmot, Salt Lake City

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