LOGAN – One of Utah’s top philanthropic families is supporting the ongoing local efforts to fund the revitalization of downtown Logan.
The Eccles family of Salt Lake City joined with Mayor Holly Daines on Tuesday to announce a $250,000 challenge grant from their George S. and Delores Doré Eccles Foundation toward the city’s Center Block Plaza project.
During Tuesday’s meeting of the Logan City Council, Daines explained that the Eccles grant is earmarked to be awarded as “last dollars” toward the project’s $2 million goal. With $1.3 million raised so far, city officials are now working to secure another $450,000 from the private sector to qualify for the challenge grant from the Eccles Foundation.
“My grandfather, aunts and uncles – including George Eccles – were raised in Logan,” according to Lisa Eccles, the president and chief operating officer of the Eccles Foundation. “They cherished their memories of growing up at 250 W. Center Street, where the historic David and Ellen Eccles residence still stands today.
“Our family’s affection for Logan has remained strong for generations. We continue to value the community’s rich history and bright future, highlighted by its outstanding contributions to our state in areas from education, the arts and culture to agriculture, outdoor recreation, high-tech industries and more.”
In recognition of the $250,000 challenge grant, Daines said that the Center Block Plaza’s outdoor stage will be named in honor of George S. and Delores Doré Eccles.
“The city is extremely grateful to the Eccles Foundation for its confidence in this project to help revitalize downtown,” she explained. “We know that arts and entertainment events will draw people downtown and the stage will be a prominent feature of the new plaza. There will be regular programming to delight and entertain all our citizens.”
The idea for a public plaza to replace the now-vacant Emporium Building on Main Street began as a suggestion from the public during a visioning meeting in summer of 2018.
Although an initial plan for the project was hotly opposed by some members of the business community, city officials persevered in developing alternative plans that eventually found favor with the Logan City Council, the Historic Preservation Committee and the City Planning Commission.
With those administrative hurdles past, demolition of the Emporium and adjacent structures is now expected during the upcoming winter months. Construction of the public plaza is set to begin in spring of 2022 with completion by the end of the year.
The city’s redevelopment agency has invested more than $4.3 million in the plaza project, including about $1.3 million for the demolition of the Emporium and adjacent structures to the north; about $2.1 million for construction of the public plaza; around $400,000 for the portable ice rink; and about $440,000 for construction of an outdoor stage and an administration building.
City officials also requested another redevelopment grant in the amount of nearly $1.6 million for the remodeling of structures adjacent to the proposal plaza to the south at 41 and 45 North Main Street.
“Our directors are excited to be part of this great revitalization project for downtown Logan,” said Lisa Eccles on Tuesday. “What a wonderful difference the plaza will make for residents and visitors alike, offering a warm and welcoming gathering place with activities, performances, concerts and more.”
The George S. and Delores Doré Eccles Foundation is dedicated to serving the people of Utah by furthering the philanthropic goals of it founders; supporting projects and programs that make a significant difference in bettering Utah’s communities; and enriching the lives of citizens in every corner of the state.
As one of the state’s largest and most charitable organizations, the Eccles Foundation contributes to meet needs and foster opportunities in areas including community and social services; education; health and wellness; arts and culture; and preservation and conservation.
The Eccles Foundation is led by Spencer F. Eccles, its chair and CEO; Lisa Eccles, in the role of president and COO; and Robert F. Graham, its secretary, treasurer and general counsel.