ENTERTAINMENT

Lead architect of Abravanel Hall says demolition plans are motivated by disposable mentality

May 21, 2024, 3:41 PM | Updated: 6:32 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Abravanel Hall was part of a Bicentennial Project in 1976 in downtown Salt Lake, which included the Capitol Theatre and the Salt Lake Arts Center.

Four men, Robert Fowler, Franklin Ferguson, Ray Kingston and Edward Joe Ruben created FFKR Architects, Utah’s top-ranked firm.

They were also the creative minds for what became Symphony Hall in 1979, renamed Abravanel Hall for Maestro Maurice Abravanel, music director for 32 years in 1984. Roger Jackson joined the firm in 1984 and is now a collaborating principal or consultant, having recently retired.

“The vision was this great concert hall,” Jackson said.

He showed KSL TV a wall of photos of FFKR projects through the decades, including his. The wall includes the Salt Lake Temple, the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, the Salt Lake Tabernacle, the BYU Jerusalem Center and a number of Latter-day Saint temples.

In creating Symphony Hall, he said his colleagues wanted a mid-century modern building that would not only make a statement but would remain.

“We should be thinking, ‘This is going to last 100 years, this is going to last 200 years,'” he said.

Jackson believes Americans live in a disposable culture, always looking for something new.

“We don’t have the heritage, conservation mentality that I think we should, that our friends in Europe do. That’s why they have 500-year-old buildings.”

We need to understand design, he said. An orchestra is only as good as it sounds; the acoustics are key. Before the new concert hall, the Utah Symphony performed in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, which has challenging acoustics for an orchestra.

“It was a step into ‘the big time’ to have a concert hall of their own and a good one!” Jackson said.

The plaza is supposed to invite patrons in and create excitement on approach. And even after a concert, to light the way home.

“At night, when it’s brighter inside than (outside), you can see (inside) and it becomes like a beacon to the city,” he said.

The grand staircase in the lobby was designed so that visitors can “see and be seen.” Think of the grand staircases in concert halls and theatres around the world.

“That stair in that lobby makes that experience,” he said.

Jackson said any landmark should be something that moves you. He believes his mentors created just such a building with Abravanel Hall.

KSL 5 TV Live

Entertainment

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson, talking about the proposed changes that are happening to downt...

Carole Mikita and Michael Houck, KSL TV

‘This plan is ambitious’: Salt Lake County Mayor Wilson talks about the revitalization of Salt Lake City

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson spoke to KSL TV about all the proposed changes that could hit downtown Salt Lake City.

2 days ago

FILE:  Actor Donald Sutherland attends the premiere of Lionsgate's "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - ...

Jake Coyle, AP Film Writer

Donald Sutherland, the towering actor whose career spanned ‘M.A.S.H.’ to ‘Hunger Games,’ dies at 88

Donald Sutherland, the film and TV actor whose career stretched from “M.A.S.H” to “JFK” to “The Hunger Games,” has died at 88.

2 days ago

Legendary Salt Lake Bees broadcaster Steve Klauke is memorialized during the opening preparations f...

Alex Cabrero, KSL TV and Carter Williams, KSL.com

Steve Klauke, legendary Bees broadcaster, gets memorialized in stadium that cemented a decadeslong career

Having broadcast over 4,000 games in nearly three decades over the air, Steve Klauke will be remembered as being the "voice" of the Salt Lake Bees.

4 days ago

A rendering of a "Netflix House". The first two locations with events and shops themed to its shows...

Erika Tulfo, CNN

Netflix to open 2 massive venues with experiences, shops themed to its shows

Netflix is opening massive entertainment venues in two cities that it says will allow fans to immerse themselves in the worlds of their favorite shows.

4 days ago

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 09: Justin Timberlake attends the Los Angeles Premiere FYC Event for ...

Associated Press

Singer Justin Timberlake arrested, accused of driving while intoxicated on New York’s Long Island

Singer Justin Timberlake was arrested early Tuesday and is accused of DUI on New York’s Long Island, authorities said.

5 days ago

Gordon Ramsay pictured at the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Rangers FC and Celtic FC at ...

Alli Rosenbloom, CNN

Gordon Ramsay says he’s ‘lucky’ to be alive after cycling accident

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay said that he's lucky to be alive after a recent cycling incident in Connecticut. In an Instagram post, he revealed a massive purple bruise on his torso.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Lead architect of Abravanel Hall says demolition plans are motivated by disposable mentality