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Murray Journal

What’s the story about Murray City Hall? Historian Korral Broschinsky can tell you

Dec 02, 2022 03:07PM ● By Shaun Delliskave

By Shaun Delliskave | [email protected]

She has walked every street in Murray and documented over 6,000 homes, noting their significance. Still, Korral Broschinsky hopes Murray holds onto one more significant building: Arlington Elementary School, also known as the current city hall. Broschinsky has devoted much time to her hometown, from penning two penultimate books about it to putting notable landmarks on the National Register.

Throughout her life, Broschinsky has intersected with important Murray buildings that are starting to be forgotten. She was born at Cottonwood Maternity Hospital, attended Arlington Elementary, and was raised in ASARCO Community Center worker housing.

“My parents had remodeled the small frame house with a cinder-block addition to resemble a ranch-style house. I always thought of it as the ugliest house in Murray,” Broschinsky said. “Through the years, I developed an ability to easily remember historical dates and the many places my family visited. I have clear memories of standing on the marble floor of the Murray First National Bank as a preschooler, climbing over the slag heap at the former smelter site to touch the base of the highest smokestack on a dare in the fifth grade, and the view from the condemned balcony of the auditorium at Hillcrest Junior High School after sneaking up there with my classmates. I had a natural interest in historical buildings when I began studying architecture at the University of Utah.”

As one of the first graduates of the new master’s program in historic preservation at the University of Utah School of Architecture, Broschinsky created a preservation consulting business. She has worked in every county in Utah and throughout the Intermountain Region. She prepared hundreds of National Register of Historic Places nominations, including many for property owners taking advantage of federal and state preservation tax credits.

“I am particularly proud of my work in my hometown. My first substantial project was preparing a National Register nomination for the Iris Theater & Apartments (today’s Desert Star Playhouse) and its neighbor to the south, the Warenski-Duvall Building,” Broschinsky said.

Her work in Murray includes five listings on the National Register as well as the Murray Hillside Historic District in 2014, and most recently, an update and boundary increase for the Murray Downtown Residential District. 

“I walked every street in Murray, including the annexations, to identify every historic structure built before 1965. These surveys included historical research into Murray’s early history and the city’s ubiquitous subdivision development in the 1950s and 1960s. The work helped create a database of nearly 6,000 historic resources that meet the National Register eligibility cutoff of 50 years old,” Broschinsky said.

Murray City School District asked her to write the “Centennial History of the Murray City School District, 1906-2006.” In 2015, she wrote a second book on Murray City, part of the Images of America Series, with photographs mostly assembled from the Murray Museum’s extensive collection.

While Murray City looks forward to a new city hall, Broschinsky hopes to call people’s attention back to the old one. She recently wrote a history about city hall called “The Three Lives of the Arlington Elementary School.”

Before the present city hall’s “third life,” the building’s second life was lived as Arlington Elementary School (1940-1980). Its first life was home to the Central School, built in 1899.

“Although the former school building has been altered, it is still significant as a representative of Murray’s stability during The Depression years and growth during the post-war population explosion. The property is a landmark and one of only two green spaces along State Street in Murray. It remains a vital community space adjacent to historic Murray City Park. The structure is sound and does not need to be restored to its original appearance,” Broschinsky said.

According to Broschinsky, the remodeled city hall won an award for adaptive reuse in 1982. In addition, the remodeled building is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places in less than a decade.

“My hope is that Murray City will find a new purpose, and a fourth life, for this building, one that serves the citizens of Murray, such as an expanded library, continuing education center, rentable event space, indoor market, etc.,” Broschinsky said. “I believe the city will regret selling the property to a developer by giving up its prominent State Street frontage, connections to Murray Park, and potential parking space to support the restoration of the Murray Theater. At the very least, the city should partner with a developer who understands the significance of the property and who recognizes the residents do not want another out-of-scale high rise.”