Historic Walker Center steps into the future with new tower lighting

Feb 6, 2022, 6:17 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 3:57 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — The historic Walker Center tower is stepping firmly into the future with a refurbished tower and sign.

When the iconic structure was initially brought back by new building owners in 2008, the sign, which has historically forecast the weather, was completed in neon.

Recently, Young Electric Sign Company or YESCO was commissioned to renovate the sign with LED lighting.

“The beauty of the technology we’ve put into this sign is not only does it reduce the power consumption by about 50 percent, but it gives us any number of color options,” said Josh Young, president of YESCO Custom Signs and YESCO Sign and Lighting Service.

Jim Tozer, president of Vectra Management Group, said the sign would also now recognize significant events and holidays, like Christmas and Halloween, with its wide spectrum of colors.

Young said workers carefully brought each of the letters down to the main roof to replace the lighting technology over roughly 900 man hours.

“We decided in the course of the last year, it was time to modernize it,” Tozer said. “We think we’re making an already extraordinary building more extraordinary.”

Originally constructed in 1911 and opened in late 1912, the Walker Center has been an iconic landmark in downtown Salt Lake City since the beginning.

“When it was constructed, it was the tallest building between the Missouri River and the West Coast,” Tozer said.

He said the old building continues to be relevant at the “crossroads of the West.”

“Salt Lake is that and we’re at the crossroads of the crossroads and we’re very happy about that,” Tozer said.

YESCO has had long-term involvement with the signage atop the Walker Center, and executive vice president Paul Young turned nostalgic in talking about its significance.

“Growing up, we watched the Walker Bank sign and watched it flash and tell us what the weather was going to be,” Young smiled. “We’re grateful for the chance to upgrade it with this new lighting system.”

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Historic Walker Center steps into the future with new tower lighting