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Historic Fort Douglas at the University of Utah
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Virtual Tour - Neighborhood #8

Neighborhood #8 on site map
Neighborhood #8

Buildings 806 & 807:  The Gateway Heights residence halls house the First-Year Focus Program, which is designed to help first-year students better achieve their scholastic potential by establishing a living/learning community of students who take one or more classes in the residence halls for at least one semester.  These also provide seminar classroom space for the yearlong lectures and seminars by faculty, visiting speakers, and alumni that are part of the program.  Each building has a community lounge with a fireplace, study rooms, laundry room and kitchenette on each floor, and double-room furnished suites that consist of four students sharing a bathroom. 
Entries and fenestration incorporate the use of white accents seen throughout the Fort, and masonry colors blend with the historic material.  The breezeways keep these buildings from being visual barriers, providing vignettes of the buildings on the other side.  They also act as an invitation to venture through and discover what lies on the other side and around the corner, thus unifying the area rather than dividing it.

The architecture of Gateway Heights reflects massing, materials and design elements of the neighboring historic buildings while not competing with them.  While the other new buildings are three stories, Gateway Heights was held at two stories to respect the scale of the nearby historic buildings. The green spaces and the low sandstone sitting walls, which were constructed of stone recovered during excavation, also serve as informal gathering places for students.

Building 815:  Standing on the cross axis of the major pedestrian pathways of the University student village, the Chase N. Peterson Heritage Center is located in the heart, programmatically and geographically, of the new housing complex.  It is the community center for the 2400 residents living in the Fort Douglas student village.  The Heritage Center houses a 600-seat central dining facility, a convenience store, 2 music practice rooms, 4 multipurpose rooms, fitness and game rooms, computer and technology labs, and a mail center.  Located on the former site of the Non-Commissioned Officer’s Club, it is fitting that this building provides some of the same recreation as its predecessor.
Although the age of the NCO Club allowed it to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, the University, in consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office, determined the building had lost its historic integrity through numerous additions and modifications to the original structure.  In order to provide adequate space for the Peterson Heritage Center and preserve the more prominent historic structures along Connor Road, the NCO Club was demolished in 1998.  A remnant of that building, a fanlight transom above the front door, is located inside the Heritage Center on the stairway landing.  Being the only historically significant element remaining in the building, the University salvaged the fanlight to commemorate the NCO Club and its significance in the history of Fort Douglas.
Design of the Heritage Center is unique because its function is unique.  The architecture creates a community space that is easily identified and accessible from any site within the area.  The use of glass in the dining area and central core creates a transparency that identifies a connection and pathway through the neighborhood.  The north and south wings have flat roofs, and the core element is higher and pitched to further distinguish entry and passageway.  Nevertheless, it still blends well with the historic fabric.  The color of the brick masonry is subtle atop the rusticated base.  Sandstone recovered from excavation has been reincorporated into site features and design accents.  The copper roof echoes the copper roofs found on a number of the porches of historic buildings.

Buildings 820-822 :  Benchmark Plaza apartments house single students in two, three, and four bedroom units.  Each apartment has a living room, full kitchen, laundry facilities, and is fully furnished.  This complex offers an independent lifestyle for upper-division students who desire apartment style living with the benefits of living on campus.  Community spaces within the buildings include seminar rooms for group or individual study.  Students living here will be at the central hub of campus life.  The Housing Administrative Offices are located in the southwest area of the complex.  Branches of the University Bookstore and the University Copy Center are located in Building 820.
The white entries, trim around the windows, and rusticated base reflect similar elements of historic buildings, but the brick masonry is a deeper red, distinguishing these buildings from others.  These buildings are arranged around a common open green area offering outdoor recreation and activity space.  Site planning and building placement was based on sun angles, natural lighting, open space, view corridors, and pedestrian connections.

Buildings 825-830:  Shoreline Ridge apartments house single and married graduate students desiring or requiring a completely independent living situation in two, three, and four bedroom units.  Each apartment has a living room, full kitchen, laundry hookups, and is available fully furnished or unfurnished.  Site planning and building placement was based on sun angles, natural lighting, open space, view corridors, and pedestrian connections.
Located on the former site of the University baseball field, these apartments capture views of the Salt Lake Valley and Wasatch Mountains.  The buildings are situated on either side of the primary circulation path that connects Stilwell Field, the Heritage Center, and the foothills beyond.  They are similar in height and massing to the historic barracks on Soldiers Circle.  Their design reflects building and roof form, materials, colors, and details of the historic buildings while taking some liberties due to the somewhat remote location.
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