Recreation Center for the Utah State Hospital

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Recreation Center for the Utah State Hospital
Recreation Center for the Utah State Hospital
Recreation Center for the Utah State Hospital is located in Utah
Recreation Center for the Utah State Hospital
Location 1300 East Center Street
Provo, Utah
Coordinates 40°14′1″N 111°37′50″W / 40.23361°N 111.63056°W / 40.23361; -111.63056Coordinates: 40°14′1″N 111°37′50″W / 40.23361°N 111.63056°W / 40.23361; -111.63056
Area 1.6 acres (0.65 ha) (within 309.55 acre property of the Utah State Hospital)
Built 1899, 1936
Built by WPA
Governing body State
MPS Public Works Buildings TR
NRHP Reference # 86000746[1]
Added to NRHP April 9, 1986

The Recreation Center For the Utah State Hospital is a historic building located at 1300 East Center Street in Provo, Utah. It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since March 21, 1996. The facility is believed to be one of the first and largest amphitheaters built in the state.

Historical significance[edit]

During the time of the great depression, the State of Utah was hit hard economically; harder than most of the states. The state had an unemployment rate of 36 percent in 1933, which was the fourth highest in the country. The unemployment rate averaged 25 percent over eight years, between 1932 and 1940. Due to this crisis, and the fact that Utah was worse off than other states, Utah received more federal assistance than many other states. Per capita federal spending in Utah in the 1930s was 9th highest among the 48 states.

Many buildings were built with the funds now provided by the national government, such as fire stations, city halls, national guard armories, public schools, and county courthouses. This recreation center is historically significant because it represents and helps document the impact of New Deal programs enforced by the federal government during this time of crisis.


The recreation center is three acres big, and seats 800 within its amphitheatre and attached interior rooms. The amphitheatre itself is set against the hillside next to the hospital, on the east end of Provo. "It is constructed almost entirely of stone, as are the attached rooms and two-story towers at the southeast and northwest corners. The towers and the “battlements” of various sections of railing give the structure a castle-like appearance. Attached to the tower at the southeast corner is a large interior room with a fireplace, and above, on its flat roof, is another fireplace and an open-air area for social gatherings. Stone ramps at both the north and south sides provide access to the amphitheatre from the grass play area at the base of the facility (Historic Preservation Research Office p. 2).” The man responsible for drawing up the plans and supervising the work on site is Lavar S. Morris. Despite plans to eventually build additional recreational facilities on site, such as tennice courts, a handball court, and picturesque gardens, the recreation center remains the only recreational facility near the hospital.[2]

It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.[1]

See also[edit]


  • Historic Preservation Research Office. Structure/Site Information Form.
  • Historic Provo. 2002 Provo City Landmarks Commission.

External links[edit]