17 April 2020

Anderson's Tower in the Avenues

Oldsmobile at Anderson's Tower 1919, From UDSH.
A medieval-looking tower once stood in the lower avenues of SLC at 6th Ave and A Street.

Anderson’s Tower, as it was named, was inspired by the Scottish heritage of its owner. In 1884, Robert R. Anderson (1848-1935), a Mormon who came to SLC in 1867 and was one of the original settlers of the Avenues area, endeavored to construct a tourist attraction in the spirit of Scottish “follies” (similar towers that Anderson had seen in Scotland as a boy).

Anderson built the round tower in 1884 out of granite remnants obtained from the quarry in Little Cottonwood Canyon used to supply the Salt Lake LDS Temple. 

The 3-story tall tower measured 54 feet high and was 25 feet in diameter and boasted a spiral stairway that led individuals past windows on each floor up to the observation deck that was equipped with a telescope.

Anderson wanted his tower to be an observatory and hoped to charge people to climb to the top. Unfortunately, most people found that the view from the base of the tower was sufficient and the tower was not profitable; the tower was occasionally known as "Anderson's Folly.”

For 32 years, Anderson owned the 2 city blocks adjacent to the tower, between 6th and 8th Avenues. Anderson refused all offers to develop the property until 1908 when he sold the development rights to Stowe and Palmer Real Estate. Stowe and Palmer convinced Anderson to reopen the tower to use it as a sales gimmick to attract people to sell their housing plots.

The day that the Tower reopened to the public nearly 3,000 people turned out to view and climb the it. Eventually, the Tower fell into disrepair again and it was demolished in November 1932.

Currently a historic monument marks where the tower stood and the base is built with granite blocks originally used in the tower.

Anderson's Tower, "A" St. and 6th Avenue,
Salt Lake City. From UDSH.

Anderson's Tower and Memory Grove Park. From UDSH.

View from inside Anderson's Tower, 1926.
Looking at Utah State Capitol. From UDSH.

View from inside Anderson's Tower, 1926. From UDSH.

Plaque at the Anderson Tower Site, 315 A Street SLC. April 2020.

View of the Anderson Tower site in April 2020. The stones along
the circular concrete edge are remnants of the original tower.  

No comments:

Post a Comment