For over 50 years, Historic 25th Street was like a red carpet welcoming travelers arriving from Union Station. While many people came for business, dining and shopping, plenty frequented houses of ill repute and visited the lively saloons to gamble, drink, brawl and trade ill-gotten gains. For a time, Ogden was a rough city and 25th Street was the roughest part of all.
The 25th Street Renaissance began in the 1950s when Mayor Lorin Farr initiated cleanup efforts. In the 1980s, economic reinvestment in the downtown area revitalized the fierce, independent, entrepreneurial heart of the city. Progressive business owners opened shops, land developers built residences and Historic 25th Street is once again a red carpet that welcomes residents and visitors to a vital economic and cultural center.
Business at the Crossroads is a project to collect oral histories, photographs, and artifacts related to changes in the Ogden business district since World War II. Special Collections will spend the summer of 2013 focusing on two aspects of the project: oral history interviews with community members who have lived and worked on 25th Street, and historical rephotography of 25th Street buildings.
We invite the community to share with us memories and stories of 25th Street. While our oral histories are currently focused on 25th Street, we will expand the project in the fall to include other downtown areas, with a particular emphasis on Hispanic business owners.
Pulling from the Weber County Assesor's Photograph Collection, and from the Union Station Library, six photography students will recreate historical images of 25th Street. They will also photo-document the men and women currently working on 25th Street through a series of portraits. These "then-and-now" images will become the foundation of our exhibit opening next spring.
We are pleased to work with the following faculty advisors on the Business at the Crossroads project:
We are also pleased to join with the following communities partners:
Business at the Crossroads has been generously funded by a Faculty Collaboration Award from the Hemingway Faculty Development Trust. This program has also received funding from the Utah Humanities Council and Utah State History.