ARTS + ENTERTAINMENT

Public comments heard at council meeting after Abravanel Hall master plan released

May 22, 2024, 7:34 AM | Updated: 8:27 am

Abravanel Hall master plan...

Abravanel Hall is pictured in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. Smith Entertainment Group, Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County envision streets within the vicinity of the Delta Center and the City Creek Center filled with businesses and housing units. The plan would keep venues like Abravanel Hall and the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, but it's unclear yet if those buildings will be renovated or rebuilt. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

(Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City Council heard public comments on Tuesday after an Abravanel Hall master plan on possible renovations was released.

The comments varied wildly. Most commented were on the proposed sports and entertainment venue itself. However, some of the most passionate commenters spoke against anything happening to Abravanel Hall.

Abravanel Hall master plan sparks community comments

“If this building (Abravanel Hall) is torn down, whatever replaces it will be inferior,” noted one speaker. They warned council members of the dangers of entering into hasty development decisions that often leave disappointing results.

Speaker Patricia Kingston told of an encounter she had at a symphony event, with former Jazz coach… and arts enthusiast Frank Layden.

“He reflected on the importance of balancing a love of the arts as well as sports, and embodies the notion that you can love both,” said Kingston.

Another person noted that Abravanel Hall was an incredible space for the symphony. They said it would be a crime to move the building and not spend money to renovate.

“It’s a cherished and significant building in our community, designed specifically for its purpose and engineered for excellent sound. I’m hopeful that its legacy will continue for many years to come,” said Traci O’Very Covey.

Others did not specifically address Abravanel. However, asked the council to remember small businesses, area residents and the unhoused in any finalized plans for the proposed sports and entertainment complex.

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Public comments heard at council meeting after Abravanel Hall master plan released