27 June 2021

Central Warehouse Building at 520 W 200 South

Central Warehouse 2021

Central Warehouse, side view, 2021

The Central Warehouse at 520 W 200 South will be adapted into the design for the new Cinq Apartments which will wrap around the historic warehouse.

The Central Warehouse building is one the few remaining historic structures in the heart of Salt Lake’s Old GreekTown; however, the building is not specifically associated with the culture or Greek people of GreekTown.

What remains of the Central Warehouse (520 W 200 S) was actually the last addition to the huge warehouse complex that was initially constructed ca. 1910 at ~160 S. 500 West (now demolished; current site of Alta Gateway Station Apts).

The original section of the warehouse along 500 West was built in 1910 for the Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company, a billiard equipment company based in Chicago. It was then acquired in 1917 by Charles Tyng for use as a warehouse. Charles Tyng died suddenly in 1924 and Central Warehouse Company acquired the property during the settlement of his estate.

Central Warehouse Company was founded by George E. Chandler who was a prominent business and real estate man in Bingham and Salt Lake. It seems that George immediately handed off management of Central Warehouse to his daughter, Bess Chandler Rooklidge, as she was listed as manager in the 1925 city directory under the name “B C Rooklidge” and she was identified as the owner by 1927.

In 1925 Bess was 42 years old, married, and had one 13-year-old son. Before she married, she graduated from Wellesley College and had traveled throughout Asia with her father. Bess’s husband may not have liked his wife’s new career because in 1927 he moved out of the family house and into the Alta Club; Bess identified herself as divorced soon after.

It was under Bess’s management that the Central Warehouse expanded and built the addition now remaining at 520 W 200 South. The warehouse was built in 1929 by contractor Hector M Draper of fire-proof reinforced concrete and it featured a brick front with ornamental colored tile surrounding the doorway and a large mezzanine inside which was used for offices.

Central Warehouse moved their office operations to the new building in Jan 1930. With their new addition and their old building, Central Warehouse Company became one of the largest storehouses in the Intermountain West.

Around WWII, Bess retired and the management of Central Warehouse was taken over by her son J. Chandler Rooklidge. The company dissolved soon after his death in 1975.

The original warehouse section along 500 West was demolished in the 1980s leaving only the 1929 addition still standing. The Central Warehouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. (I think the plaque should be updated to reflect Bess’s contribution instead of her father’s ownership).

The Cinq apartment construction project plans to prominently incorporate the 1929 warehouse into its design and build around it. A small portion of the rear will need to be removed but most of the structure will be kept intact. The Central Warehouse does not have any local historic protections, so the preservation of the building is not required for the developer.
Proposed Cinq Apts. Note Central Warehouse in center.
Images from SLC Planning Commission Report.

Original section of the warehouse in 1912 as the
Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company. From UDSH.

New addition Central Warehouse, 1933. From UDSH.
Interior of 3rd floor, 1933. From UDSH.

New addition and original warehouse 1939. From UDSH.

Central Warehouse 1979. From UDSH.

Detail of front entrance, ca 1997. From UDSH.

Front entrance of Central Warehouse, 2021.

Detail of multi-colored tiles at front entrance, 2021.

Detail of 1950 Sanborn Map.

City Directory advertisements from 1925 (top) and 1926 (bottom).

Bess C. Rooklidge, 1924. From her passport photo on Ancestry.

National Register plaque currently on the Central Warehouse, 2121.
(I think it should be updated to reflect Bess’s contribution instead of her father’s ownership.)

No comments:

Post a Comment