Historic Downtown Ogden -- A Walk Through the History of the American West
Start: 2148 Grant Ave.
Finish: 2539 Washington Blvd.
Time: 1-2 hours.
Best Times: Any.
Worst Times: None, although windy days in winter can be biting cold.
Begin your tour at 2148 Grant Ave., on Tabernacle Square, where you'll find:
1. Miles Goodyear Cabin and Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum
This cottonwood log cabin was built in 1845 on the Weber River at Fort Buenaventura, which is now a county-run park. The cabin is believed to be the first permanent pioneer home in Utah. Next door, the 1902 Gothic-style brick Relief Society Building now houses the Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum (tel. 801/393-4460), containing pioneer photographs, artifacts, and memorabilia. Both the museum and cabin are open during summer only.
Now head south on Grant Avenue for 3 blocks to 298 24th St., the:
2. Ogden Post Office
This is one of two fine examples of Classical Revival Federal architecture in Utah (the other is the Salt Lake City post office). This building, constructed between 1905 and 1909, held a post office, a courthouse, and offices until 1974. The lobby, elevator, second-floor courtroom, and much of the beautiful woodwork have been lovingly restored. The building now houses a reception center and other offices.
Turn east on 24th Street; a block down the street, at 385 24th St., you have reached the:
3. Eccles Building
Now the Hampton Inn and Suites, this steel-framed, brick-faced, boxlike 1913 building with "Chicago-style" windows combines elements of Prairie style with classical details, evident in the terra-cotta figurines and geometric motifs along the second- and eighth-floor cornices.
Turn south onto Washington Boulevard, and continue to 2415 Washington Blvd. to see:
4. Peery's Egyptian Theater
Built as a movie theater in the Egyptian Revival style in 1924, the cinema reopened in 1997 after extensive renovation. The facade has four fluted columns, with two sculpted pharaohs between each, plus two sculptures of deities perched on the roof. The interior is equally exotic: The proscenium is decorated with paintings of Egyptian figures and colorful columns. Getting a tour of the theater can be difficult and depends on the whim of the staff. The best way to see the theater is to attend a performance. The theater doesn't show movies regularly, but hosts live productions and film festivals.
Cross the street to 2510 Washington Blvd., the:
5. Ben Lomond Hotel
This Italian Renaissance Revival hotel, built in 1927 on the remains of the 1890 Reed Hotel, is a handsome reminder of the opulent 1920s, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Cross again to 2539 Washington Blvd., to see the:
6. Municipal Building
One of the finest representations of the Art Deco style of architecture in Utah, this building is also an excellent example of a WPA project. Built in 1939, the building is composed of a series of rectangular brick blocks with glazed terra-cotta trim, symmetrically tapered to the tall central mass -- grand and awe-inspiring.
7. Historic 25th Street
Finally, take a few minutes to walk along Historic 25th Street, once known nationwide as "Two-Bit Street" because of its rowdy nature. The largest remaining group of turn-of-the-20th-century storefronts in the state has enjoyed a dandy of a renovation over the last decade. Many of the old businesses moved out to suburban shopping centers, and shops, restaurants, and pubs have since taken over.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.