18 May 2024

Mountainville Academy's Failure to Incorporate STEM Principals into Actual Practice: The Demolition of the Historic Carlisle House

Architectural salvage of the brick from the Fanny and Thomas Carlisle House, May 17 2024. Mountainville Academy will demolish the house for a parking lot and STEM building.

Demolition of the Carlisle House in Alpine has begun. Mountainville Academy (@mountainvilleacademy) refused the offer by Alpine City and the Friends of the Alpine City Library to purchase the property and turn it into a children’s library. As such, Mountainville has decided to demolish the house rather than let someone else buy it to be preserved or to utilize it themselves.

I visited the Thomas and Fanny Carlisle House on Friday, May 17 2024 and took these photographs. The workers in the images were hired by Alpine City (not Mountainville Academy) to conduct architectural salvage; their focus is on recovering the ca1910 brick, which I was told will be repurposed for the Alpine Library.

FOX13's Shanti Lerner reported that Mountainville plans to use the space for a parking lot and a STEM building… both purposes I find enraging. The parking lot is clearly a shortsighted decision and something that could have been designed to easily avoid the Carlisle House.

The lack of integrating the Carlisle House into a STEM building (an addition could have been added) is yet another shortsighted decision and illustrates Mountainville’s lack of creativity and willingness to incorporate the principles of STEM/STEAM into actual practice.

The entire drive back from Alpine all I could do was think of various science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics classroom exercises that utilized or focused on the Carlisle House. Incorporating historic preservation into STEM/STEAM would have been a true example of “Excellence.”

I helped build Utah’s first standalone STEM program of K-6 grades, at M. Lynn Bennion Elementary (soon to close) a Title 1 School that serves downtown SLC families. We did amazing things with very little funding.

It is so insulting to see a fairly privileged school like Mountainville Academy squander a unique opportunity. One quick example of a potential STEM exercise: make adobe bricks (sun-dried mud) with various compositions and then test their engineering strength.

This potential STEM lesson was on my mind because the adobe brick is now exposed while the exterior fired brick is being salvaged.

06 May 2024

DEMOLITION PENDING on Carlisle House in Alpine, Utah

UPDATE - DEMOLITION PENDING on Carlisle House in Alpine, Utah. Mountainville Academy plans to start demolition (interior first) tomorrow (Tues May 7 2024).

So many people have stories about how this property is important to them (here and here).

Mountainville has rejected an offer by the City of Alpine and the Friends of Alpine City Library to purchase the historic home. The offer met all of Mountainville's requirements but it seems Mountainville really had no intention of considering selling the historic home so it could be preserved.

See parts of their official statement on the second slide (posted below), as well as my snarky interpretation.

You can call/email Mountainville at 801-756-9805 or info@malions.org.  Their contact page is also here.

01 May 2024

Mi Casita Ghose Sign

Ghost sign, old Southeast Market building. April 30 2024.

A ghost sign on the old Southeast Market building at 422 E 900 South, SLC. This sign is for the Mi Casita Mexican Restaurant and dates to about 1992.

The building is undergoing a reconstruction but it seems like the original facade will be preserved.

The building was constructed in 1941 as the O.P. Skaggs Market (last slide, showing neon sign from 1947).

O.P. Skaggs building and sign, 1947. From Utah State Historical Society.

The building was sold by Skaggs in 1945 but kept the name for several more years, eventually becoming known as Sudbury's Foodtown, after long-time manager, turned owner, Ray F. Sudbury.

Sudbury sold the building in 1966 to William and Mae Tang, who operated it as Super Save Discount Market in the late 1960s.

Many businesses have used the space over the decades. The last ones to occupy the space were Southeast Market, Melewa Bakery, and Pho 28 (Photo 3, from Google Street View 2022).

Ghost sign, old Southeast Market building. April 30 2024.

Google Street View 2022