In the spring of 2010, new signs for the seven picnic pavilions in Sugar House Park were installed, and the signs reflected the new names that were selected by the Park Authority board for the pavilions. In place of the old directional names (i.e., Southeast Terrace), the pavilions now have names that refer more readily to their locations in the Park and that also refer to the Park’s natural and historical legacy. Here are the seven pavilion names:
Fabian Lakeside Pavilion: The pavilion nearest the park’s small lake is named for Harold Fabian, a Salt Lake City lawyer who was the first president of the Sugar House Park Authority and served in that role from 1957 to 1975. The Park Authority actually named the pavilion after Mr. Fabian in 1975, shortly before his death, but the “Lake Terrace” sign had remained in place for 35 years until now. Mr. Fabian was instrumental in the establishment of Grand Teton National Park and the Utah state parks system, and he oversaw the original planning and landscaping of Sugar House Park.
Sego Lily Pavilion: The Sego Lily is the state flower of Utah, by a 1911 act of the Utah Legislature, and so it is appropriate that its name should go on the pavilion just to the east of the greenhouse and cold frames, located along the Park’s southern fence line. It is here that the Park’s floral commitment begins in winter; in the spring and summer, the Park’s colorful and carefully planted flower beds are its signature decoration. The Sego Lily also refers to the Sego Lily Plaza, planned as the Park entry into the Draw at Sugar House under 1300 East, due for completion by 2012.
Mt. Olympus Pavilion: Mt. Olympus looms over the pavilion nearest the baseball diamond, along the Park’s southern fence line. The 9,026-foot peak is not the tallest in the Wasatch Range, but it is the most prominent from this point in the Salt Lake Valley. The Wasatch vistas contribute most gloriously to the Park’s setting. The Park site had direct transportation links to the mountains for decades: A railroad line from Park City ran through the park site in the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th, and I-80 cut through the Park when it was constructed in the 1960s .
Sugar Beet Pavilion: The southeastern-most pavilion in the Park bears a name that refers back to the farming that was done by prisoners on much of the Park site. Of course, the sugar beet is central to Sugar House’s very name, as the early pioneers got the idea to raise sugar beets and then process them into sugar. A sugar mill was built in the early 1850s on what is now the corner of 21st South and Highland Drive, but the processing equipment was never able to produce sugar, and sugar refining in Sugar House was abandoned in 1855.
Hidden Grove Pavilion: The shaded pavilion that is “hidden” across a blue bridge on the northeast edge of the Park is appropriately named Hidden Grove, and it is a good place to reflect on the Park’s tree canopy. Along Parley’s Creek, the canopy is dominated by native cottonwoods, both narrowleaf and Eastern. And there are still some Gambel oaks, also native to the area. There are many evergreen trees and other species in other areas of the Park. The Park Authority is attentive to replacing lost trees and keeping its tree canopy updated.
Parley’s Creek Pavilion: The most central pavilion in the Park abuts Parley’s Creek, which enters the Park below 17th East and meanders through the middle of the Park, empties into the small lake, and exits below 13th East. In pioneer days, it was known as Big Kanyon Creek, but was eventually named after Parley Pratt, who was responsible for constructing the Golden Pass Toll Road through the canyon. Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County completed studies of the creek’s riparian corridor in 2009 and 2010, focusing attention on the future health of Parley’s Creek.
Big Field Pavilion: Big Field is an appropriate name for the pavilion nearest the Park’s large soccer field, but the name also references the history of this site. After Mormon pioneers settled Salt Lake City in 1847 and staked out the city grid, a large area to the south of 900 South became known as the Big Field Survey, comprising five- and 10-acre farming plats. From the Big Field Survey, Congress purchased land in 1853 for a territorial prison, which was completed in 1854 on the Park’s current site. The prison, which stood north of this pavilion, atop the hill near 14th East, operated for nearly a century. The state vacated the prison site in 1951.