Salt Lake City, Utah: Gilgal GardenStrange folk art featuring a two-ton sphinx carved with the face of Mormon church founder Joseph Smith.
Visitor Tips and News About Gilgal Garden
I sent you a plea for help on January 18, 1998. My plea was to help save Gilgal, the eclectic Mormon sculpture park built by Thomas Child, a mason. I have good news: Gilgal has been saved! Someone with money and influence joined the cause and now the park won't be destroyed. The only problem is that now the park is open on weekdays; there was something wonderful about a religious park only being open on Sunday in a state where nearly everything else is closed.[Evan Richards, 12/21/2000]
August 2005: Evan updates that Gilgal was purchased in 2000 with $600,000 donated towards its preservation, then the park was donated to the Salt Lake City.
This email is a plea for help. There is a roadside attraction that needs to be saved. Gilgal is located in Salt Lake City, Utah and can be entered at 750 East 500 South. Gilgal is a sculpture park created by Thomas Childs, a Mormon stone mason whose passion for both church and stone are on display in the park. As you might expect, Childs unsettled the heirarchy of the church. Despite his deep commitment to Mormonism, he was perceived by members as a little bit on the fringe and his work was dismissed.
Maybe it was the 2-ton sphinx he carved with the face of Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon church. Maybe it was that every square inch of ground in the park has biblical scripture etched in granite. Or it might have been the self portrait of Childs with a marble head, granite sport coat, and brick pants. There's more. All of these treasures can be seen on any Sunday, the only day the park is open.
Gilgal is now threatened. Childs' died years ago and left the property to his children. They are preparing to sell the property to condo developers.
They've offered to sell the park to preservationists if they can come up with the cash. I decided to write you when I took my kids to see Santa just before Christmas. The Santa we saw was donating the profits of photos with Santa to the Save Gilgal Foundation. I was moved by Santa's conscientious comittment to Gilgal.[Evan Richards, 01/18/1998]