What is Union Block?
Union Block is our first historic preservation and economic development project. It is currently used to host events and activities, with a focus on art & culture. The building also supports our weekly Farmers Market, in the event of inclement weather. Union Block hosts festivals, exhibitions, markets, schools, events, and meetings. It is currently available for rent.
Ultimately we envision this building developed as a mixed use residential (up) and retail/commercial (down) facility.
The Union Block Building sits prominently in the center of Historic Downtown; it is a beautiful federal style structure listed on the National Register of Historic places. Its history tells much of the story of the people of Brigham City during the past 125 years. It was constructed in 1892 and is centrally located along the east side of Main Street in the historic district. It was one of the first commercial buildings constructed in the town after the Mormon Church-sponsored Co-op began to wane in the 1880s.
Construction of the Union Block was a joint effort by two prominent Brigham City businessmen -- Robert K. Wilson, the only saloon keeper in Brigham City, and Charles W. Knudson, fruit grower and financier. In 1892, Knudson owned the adjoining land south of the one-story frame Wilson Saloon and was ready to expand his business operations in Brigham City. He convinced Wilson to go in with him in the construction of this substantial brick building to suit both of their needs. Wilson relocated his saloon to the north half of the first story of this building, and Knudson occupied the south half.
We are working with the current building owners to restore Union Block and preserve it in an economically viable manner. Art and culture are the medium through which we approach our historic preservation and economic development activities and Union Block fits this requirement splendidly. We believe that an upscale housing project, along with the current art & culture events we produce, will create an economic development incubator in Historic Downtown.
Each and every business in the historic district will be affected by this project, in a positive way. We envision a significant increase in foot traffic, which will benefit our existing restaurants and shops. More importantly it will generate demand for more activities downtown, which will drive economic development. More retail and food outlets will flow naturally from this project, and will help build the critical mass necessary to invigorate historic downtown.
We believe that this project could be finished within two years, but a number of contingencies will ultimately determine this outcome. Three challenges exist, namely; development and fundraising, the real property transaction, and the renovation consistent with National Historic preservation guidelines.
We recognize this is an ambitious project. But if change is to happen in Historic Downtown, we must do big things. We invite you to join with us in preserving this significant historic property and developing it to bring more economic activity, especially art and culture, into historic downtown.