Preserving Zion’s First Historic Buildings: Portals to the Past
Native Utahn Thomas Vint was a pioneer who helped the National Park Service develop a model for historic preservation. As one of the founders of the now famous Parkitecture design style, Vint harmonized the need for the development of park infrastructure with preserving the landscape unique to the National Parks. A year after becoming the Chief Landscape Architect for the National Park Service, Thomas Vint designed Zion’s First Superintendent’s Residence in 1928, known as the Historic Pine Creek Building. Constructed out of ashlar red sandstone masonry, the First Superintendent’s Residence captures Vint’s vision to maintain “the element of beauty” in architecture at Zion National Park.
Despite its cultural and historical significance as the key structure in the Pine Creek Historic District, the Superintendent’s Residence is caught in the deferred maintenance backlog and has not had any major repair work completed in the last 80 years. This project starts at the beginning, by stabilizing the foundation of this building designed by Vint. Surface grading and drainage control will better protect the structure from flooding common during the summer months in Zion Canyon. The First Superintendent’s Residence is a structure with irreplaceable value in the landscape of Zion Canyon. Subsequent projects will address further preservation needs for this historic structure.