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Helper alters city role in preserving historic buildings



By Sun Advocate

The Helper Historic District is located between 1st West Street and the railroad tracks from Janet Street on the north to Locust Street on the South. Owners of these properties can more easily have buildings listed on the National Historic Register because of the historic designation.

Helper recently changed the city’s role in historic preservation.
An ordinance that required strict compliance by building owners within the historic district was replaced by a guideline that encourages voluntary participation in historic preservation, but does not mandate participation.
The ordinance passed the city council on June 16 and the historical preservation advisory commission is now taking a different approach to preserve the historic value of the area. In the process, the commission hopes that more residents will become interested.
The commission will now provide advice, information and guidelines for preservation and restoration of historic buildings.
At the same time, the commission will no longer act in a regulatory manner.
Helper has a unique history of railroading and coal mining that attracted immigrants from Europe and Asia.
Many residents view that mix of ethnicity as the force that created a culture that continues to set Helper apart from other communities.
In many ways, that history and culture is preserved in the homes and commercial buildings. In order to help preserve that history and the historic preservation advisory commission now serves to encourage citizens to protect and preserve them.
The guidelines provided by the commission will be promoted as an advisement rather than as a regulation.
Under the revised guidelines, there are three levels of historic acknowledgment: the Helper Historic Sites List, the Landmark Register, and the National Register of Historic Places.
The Helper historic preservation commission, in its new role, is available to help anyone interested in participating in any of these levels.
In addition, the Helper historic preservation commission recently received revised evaluations of all the buildings and homes in the Helper Historic District that are now named to the National Register of Historic Places. Cory Jensen, a member of the Utah State Historic Preservation team, performed the evaluation in April.
The Helper Historic District was established in 1976 and includes Main Street between Janet Street and Locust Street bounded by the railroad tracks and 1st West Street.
“These property owners have made a great contribution to Helper city by preserving our most valued asset, our unique history. The maintenance of the historic integrity of the historic district enhances the attraction to Helper as one of the remaining railroad and mining towns in Utah,” said Madge Tomsic, who chairs the preservation commission.
“The property owners are to be congratulated,” added Tomsic. “Being named to the national register means that the facade of the property has either been preserved since it was built, or restored. This would involve a great deal of work and money and we want to thank these property owners for their contribution to our historic town.”
Helper boasts 64 sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places:
•The first six are homes on the west side of Main Street across from the Catholic Church and the auditorium .
The addresses are 2, 6, 8,14,16 and 20 South Main Street.
The homes were built on the old Litizzette farm.
•The house located at 38 South Main, built by Minnie Wahl.
The house was later owned by Smiley Amano with an attached beauty shop.
•The building at 42 South Main that houses the Phelps Family Clinic
•The structure located at 58 South Main. The structure was once the Ricci Market, but is now the Lupo Building.
•The building located at 66 South Main, originally the Fish Market, now a beauty shop.
•The former Oakland Hotel at 68 South Main now serves as state liquor store.
•The Flaim building now houses a beauty shop at 74 South Main.
•Utah Hotel and Helper Furniture Company, 76 South Main, have become an artist’s studio.
•The building at 80 South Main was originally the O.P. Skaggs Grocery Store. The building was later occupied by the Vogue and currently houses Classy Glass.
•Hillcrest Apartments, 11 West Hill Street
•Strand Theater, 100 South Main, with barber shop.
•Dalpiaz building, 120 South Main, presently the Emporium.
•The Lowenstein Mercantile, later Mutual Furniture, now the Balance Rock Cafe at 148 South Main.
•154 and 160 S. Main, originally the Barboglio Building that burned in 1950, now Hermies Antique Shop and the Pin Cushion.
•178 S. Main, the Avalon Hotel, now the Golden Rule Mission.
•190 S. Main, New House Hotel.
•4 Ivy Street, originally the Liberty Theater, now The Sign Master.
•202 S. Main, Greenhaigh Drug Store, later the Handy Market, now the Learning Center.
•202 S. Main, Crowley Apartments.
•230 S. Main, Bertolino’s Commercial Building, now a tumbling school.
•258 S. Main, Built as the Carbon Hotel by Bertolinos, now headquarters for The Clampers.
•294 S. Main, originally the Helper Hotel, now the Western Mining and Railroad Museum.
•302 S. Main, the La Salle Hotel and Cafe, currently vacant.
•340 S. Main, Bunnel Garage, currently vacant.
•398 S. Main, Midland Service Station, currently vacant.
•7 S. Main, Catholic church rectory.
•19 S. Main, Helper Auditorium.
•35 S. Main, originally a D&RG railroad company house, now an art gallery.
•41 S. Main, D&RG railroad company house, now an art gallery.
•43 S. Main, known as the Dart home.
•45 S. Main, Helper Post Office
•14 Kessler Court, restored railroad house.
•61 S. Main, Thomas Millinery Shop, now occupied by the Helper Cafe.
•71 S. Main, Helper City Hall
•115 S. Main, originally J. C. Penny, now antique mall.
•119 S. Main, Purple Plum Country.
•123 and 125 S. Main, Helper Clinic.
•127 S. Main, currently vacant.
•129 S. Main, Expressions Ballet.
•131 S. Main, originally the office of Dr. A. R. Demman, now Funky Junque.
•143 and 147 S. Main, originally Hall Plumbing, currently vacant.
•157 S. Main, office building restored, currently vacant.
•167 S. Main, built as the Success Market, now an artist’s studio.
•179 S. Main, “Back to the Fifties Cafe.”
•187 S. Main, Bill’s Pharmacy, later Chuck’s Pharmacy, currently vacant.
•39 E. Depot Street, railroad depot.
•305 S. Main, D&RGW railroad company house.
•277 S. 1st West, Bertolino, Smith house.
•267 S. 1st West, Bertolino, Wigglns house.
•246 S. 1st West, Bottino Rock house.
•57 Poplar, James Rolando house.
•347 S. 1st West, Greenhaigh, Vigil house
•321 S. 1st West, Blumberg, Eaqulnta house.
•333 S. 1st West, Stein, Sunter house.
•315 S. 1st West, Blumberg, Hughes house.
•14 Locust Street, Barboglio house.
•71 S. 1 st West, Flaim house.
•76 S. 1st West, Helper Furniture storage, now an artist’s studio.
•30 S. Main, family home of August Litizzette Sr.
More information about the revised ordinance and services offered through the preservation commission be obtained by contacting the Helper Historic Preservation Commission at (435) 472-3009.

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