Ogden City approves new ordinance to preserve historic structures

Ogden City approves new ordinance to preserve historic structures

OGDEN, Utah (ABC 4 News) – Ogden was built back when the rail came through in 1852 and some of the town still looks like it did a long time ago. The city is hoping to keep it that way.
OGDEN, Utah (ABC 4 News) – Ogden was built back when the rail came through in 1852 and some of the town still looks like it did a long time ago. The city is hoping to keep it that way.

When Carrie Vondrus thought about opening up her dream business she knew right where to look.

"There's no place like 25th street,” said Vondrus.

Her vintage clothing shop, Endless Indulgence, has been open for a little over a year. Vondrus says the historic downtown district was the perfect place for her throw back boutique.

“It's historical, it's got so much flavor,” said Vondrus. “All the visitors that we have come from other states other countries, it’s absolutely amazing. It just has a great flavor to it."

Call it flavor or call it charm, Ogden wants to see it preserved.

Ogden’s Mayor Mike Caldwell said, "There's a real nice eclectic history that is associated with some of these buildings."

The city council voted Tuesday to adopt an ordinance that puts owners of historic properties under greater scrutiny if they allow their buildings to fall apart. The new law allows the city landmarks commission or the city building official to investigate potentially neglected historical sites.

Caldwell said, "Most other communities as they went into economic redevelopment have plowed over their historic main streets and downtowns. Ogden has maintained there’s and we want to make sure we do what we can to encourage some of those elements stay relevant."

The city's objective is to see the buildings and businesses be successful, so rather than just fining properties that fall below what's acceptable, they want to work together to find a solution.

"We see ourselves as partners,” said Caldwell. “We don't want to turn into an enforcement agency and if it does get to that I think we're approaching it in the wrong way."       

For now, it feels like the right way for Carrie Vondrus. She says any step to preserve the history is the right direction for Ogden.

"There's history that Al Capone stayed here just up the street,” said Vondrus. “There are fabulous tunnels running under the street from prohibition time, the opium dens, all the history…you don't want to lose that."

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