Salt Lake City, Utah: Gilgal Garden

RoadsideAmerica.com Team Field Report

Address:
749 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City, UT
Directions:
On the northeast side of downtown. The entrance to the Garden is on the north side of E. 500 S., midway between S. 700 E. and S. 800 E. Between two buildings, you will see the park entrance.
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Gilgal Garden. Gilgal Garden
Strange folk art featuring a two-ton sphinx carved with the face of Mormon church founder Joseph Smith. Roadsideamerica.com Report... [10/05/2008]

Visitor Tips and News About Gilgal Garden

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Sphinx at Gilgal Garden. Gilgal Garden

After a tip came in from an SLC visitor that the Gilgal sculpture garden had been obliterated by condos, "Agility Nut" Debra Jane Seltzer asked her pal Ellie Sargent to reconnoiter. Ellie reports that Gilgal is still there -- intact and well-maintained.

[RoadsideAmerica.com Team, 07/11/2008]
Sphinx at Gilgal.  Gilgal Garden

Gilgal Garden has been revamped and is now a public park because of the great work of the "Friends of Gilgal" group as well as the LDS Church. I'm not Mormon, but I can appreciate the devotion this man had to his faith and his career, which is what the garden is all about. The sad part is that it's not the worry of a condo going in, but vandals, who have absconded with a stone heart as well as a sword and anvil. It is a strange place to say the least, yet it is beautiful and thought provoking. I'm just glad to report that it is now preserved!

[Norman Barton, 05/11/2005]
Head at Gilgal Garden. Gilgal Garden - Folk Art Environment

From a previous tip: "Childs' died years ago and left the property to his children. They are preparing to sell the property to condo developers." While this situation is now past, I felt the need to clarify that it was not Thomas B. Child's children who were planning to sell the garden to developers! The property was eventually sold to the Fetzer family who were family friends. The burden of maintainence drove them to try and sell the property and when this happened it was Thomas B. Child's daughter-in-law who helped for the Friends of Gilgal foundation who ultimately purchased the garden and has been a crucial part of its restoration. Of note, the house that was knocked down was not Child's but another. Child's home is the one that is due east of the garden. Come see the garden -- it is incredible! I am honored to be a part of its heritage.

[Daniel Child, 04/08/2005]

July 2008 - Photo added.

Gilgal Garden

Gilgal Garden is a whole layout of stone art, with the Sphinx of Joseph Smith, a huge Mormon cricket, some Biblical body parts, and a self-portrait of the artist, in brick pants, with his tools all anchored to a huge slanting backdrop of stone or plaster. All around the garden are stepping stones with Bible verses and other sayings in them. It's an amazing place.

The house in front was torn down, unfortunately, but everything else is still intact, and the garden is open from 9 to 5 daily. Friends of Gilgal bought the sculpture garden, gave it to the city, and the city has hired a master gardener. There was talk of holding some ice-sculpture events and other activities there during the Olympics, but nothing came of it.

[Star Coulbrooke, 02/20/2002]

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