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Murray Journal

Historic Murray First Foundation challenges residents to recreate historic Murray buildings in gingerbread form

Dec 14, 2020 12:34PM ● By Shaun Delliskave

By Shaun Delliskave | [email protected]

A gingerbread Wheeler Farmhouse? The Murray Theatre with gumdrop patrons? Glazed icing dripping off the Superette store? The Historic Murray First Foundation is inviting everyone to submit an entry in their online Historic Murray Gingerbread Contest and also learn about tax credits that they can use to renovate their historic building or house.

“We are asking that each entry be modeled after an actual building, demolished or still standing, that was built before 1970 in the area that is Murray City’s current boundaries. This could include anything from pioneer-era to mid-century modern buildings,” Foundation representative Kathleen Stanford said.

All of this goes toward Historic Murray First’s goal of increasing awareness of preserving historic structures, especially taking advantage of tax credits for those seeking to improve their historic building.

According to Stanford, “We want you to know that the State of Utah will pay 20% of any renovation or repair costs for your historic home (in the form of tax credits) if the rehabilitation work protects the historic character of your home, the home is used as a residence, and

repairs are pre-approved by the State Historic Preservation Office.”

The tax credit comes with a caveat. 

“Within three years of tax credit approval, the home must be listed in the National Register of Historic Places, individually or as a contributing building within a historic district,” Stanford said. “National Register listing is honorary and does not interfere with a private property owner’s right to alter, manage, maintain, or dispose of the property.”

Currently, Murray has three historic districts. The Murray Downtown Historic District is centered around State Street between 4800 South and Vine Street and stretches eastward to Center Street, including several landmark homes. Its companion, the Murray Downtown Residential Historic District, borders the downtown district from Center Street and continues eastward towards Mick Riley Golf Course.  

The Hillside Historic District includes 284 historic structures in the neighborhood between 5300 South and 5600 South, including 235 East on the westside and Kenwood Drive on the east. Homes in this neighborhood can qualify for the rehabilitation credit.

Individual homes outside of these historic districts can also qualify.

Buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places, which, after rehabilitation, are used as a residence(s) qualify. The credit is not available for any property used for commercial purposes, including hotels or bed-and-breakfasts. If the historic B&B is also owner-occupied, this portion of the rehabilitation may qualify. The building does not need to be listed in the National Register at the beginning of the project. Still, a complete National Register nomination must be submitted when the project is finished. The property must be listed in the National Register within three years of the completed project’s approval.

All of the proposed, on-going or completed work must meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and be approved by the State Historic Preservation Office.

The rehabilitation credit cannot be used with purchasing a building, new additions, purchasing furnishings or equipment, or landscaping. It can be used to upgrade windows, masonry, furnace, and air conditioning or repairing roofs. 

“In addition, Murray City imposes no restrictions on historic homeowners,” Stanford said.

The Historic Murray First Gingerbread Contest will be held virtually. Entries will be judged and prizes awarded in the following categories: Houses, churches, schools and public/commercial buildings, and also a kid’s division.

Contestants will need to take a few pictures of their gingerbread creation, with good lighting and a plain background, and then submit them to [email protected] with their name, email, and address of the replicated historic building in Murray that inspired them by Dec. 15. 

Creations will be displayed on the Foundation’s website and Facebook pages.