Honoring their ancestors: Bear River Massacre interpretive center in the works, fundraising kicking off by SHOKO SMITH

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After three prominent members of the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation met with a team of Salt Lake City architects to review designs for an interpretive center at the site of the Bear River Massacre, Michael Gross dreamed of his grandmother.

“She came to me and she gave me a big hug in the dream, and I remember after that happened, in the dream, I felt great,” Gross said. “I felt like I had grandma’s approval.”

Gross, a tribal councilman, said he woke up and immediately texted his cousin, Darren Parry, the chairman of the tribal council.

“I think what we’re doing is the right thing,” he said, recalling the text message.

In January, the tribe purchased 550 acres of land where an estimated 350 to 500 of their ancestors were massacred on Jan. 29, 1863, by federal troops led by Col. Patrick Connor.

In the months since that land purchase, tribal leaders have been working with the USU College of Natural Resources to come up with a plan to restore the land to how it looked at the time of the massacre, including removing invasive plants and bringing back native species.

Now, tribal leaders plan to build an interpretive center near the massacre site. Gross, Parry and Patty Timbimboo-Madsen, the tribe’s cultural resource manager, recently took a trip down to Salt Lake City meet with GSBS Architects.

 Visioning meeting at GSBS Architects

Visioning meeting at GSBS Architects

Before the meeting, Parry said he told the architects the tribe wasn’t looking for a big building sticking out in the middle of a cow pasture in Franklin County, Idaho. He said the tribe wanted something more subtle, with wood beams and large glass windows.

“I want it natural,” Parry said. “Use the natural light, use natural materials in the construction. That was the only guidance I really gave them.”

As Gross recalls from that meeting, it didn’t take long for the three tribal leaders to choose their favorite design.

“When they showed us a couple of designs that they had in mind, it was pretty unanimous pretty quickly,” Gross said.

Baylee Lambourne, an architect with GSBS who worked collaboratively on the design with a few others, said she wanted to create a structure that was respectful to the Shoshone people and their strong connection to the land.

“The building is tucked into the hill in such a way that at times it can be difficult to distinguish from the surrounding landscape,” Lambourne said. “The idea is to let the land remain the highlight of the space.”

A rendering of the design shows a humble structure sunk into the ground with a land bridge over top, filled with native grasses, with large outdoor plazas and an amphitheatre.

Lambourne said the design team calls the building, “Reverence.” Gross and Parry both said they think the name is perfect.

“That’s how we feel about the land,” Gross said. “It’s a reverent place for us. It’s a sacred place, but we do feel that people need to be educated.”

Across the highway from the site, a memorial established in 1932 by the citizens of Franklin County depicts the massacre as a battle fought against “Indians guilty of hostile attacks on emigrants and settlers.”

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Parry said he wants the interpretive site to tell the whole story of his people. He is currently undertaking an informational tour of city council meetings throughout Cache Valley to share plans for the site, hoping that local leaders can then share that information with their residents. He said he wants to show that the tragedy didn’t define the tribe.

“A building that people can go in and learn the whole history,” Parry said. “Our tribe’s history in the area, the introduction of Mormon pioneers, how that changed our way of life and then kind of the whole story, including the conversion to Mormonism and who we are today.”

But, Parry said, if the interpretive center is closed, visitors will still be able to learn the history from information on the outside of the building. David Garce, a principal at GSBS and a landscape architect, helped put together a larger site plan to do just that.

Garce, himself a member of the Catawba Indian Nation who sits on board of directors of the American Indian Council of Architects and Engineers, said the site is peaceful and quiet with unobstructed views. As planned, the building will be a distance away from the actual massacre site. Walking trails would then meander around the field, leading to a recreated Shoshone encampment area with teepees.

To show the scope of life lost in the massacre, Garce said the plan calls for placing 500 boulders throughout the field, each representing one life.

“Once you see the immense number of lives-lost markers, it really makes an impact on you,” Garce said.

Part of the mission of GSBS Architects, Garce explained, is to provide professional design help to underserved populations. He said they have worked with Paiute, Navajo, Hopi and Ute tribes. When the opportunity arose to work with the Northwestern Shoshone, they jumped on the project. He said most of the design work on the project is pro bono.

The design might come cheap for the tribe, but the actual construction is another story. Parry said GSBS provided a cost estimate of $5 million. He is hoping to raise most of that from donations from Cache Valley residents and businesses.

“I just have a feeling that this is such a beautiful story — it needs to be told — that I think there will be a lot of people that want to be involved with it,” Parry said.

Gross said the fundraising effort will be a big task. He said he’s thought of putting on a benefit concert over the summer. With the land purchase and now the plans to build an interpretive center, he said it’s an exciting time for the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation.

“I feel like we’re honoring our ancestors by doing this,” Gross said.

By Sean Dolan staff writer - Apr 7, 2018
sdolan@hjnews.com Twitter: @RealSeanDolan

America's Most Indestructible Buildings by SHOKO SMITH

 ©Jeff Goldberg / Esto

©Jeff Goldberg / Esto

The Salt Lake City Public Safety Building was named one of "America's Most Indestructible Buildings" along with One World Trade Center in New York and The U.S. Bank Tower in LA by Bob Vila on MSN.com.  

"If an earthquake hits Utah's capital, one of the best places to hunker down would be the Salt Lake City Public Safety Building, which houses the city's fire and police departments. An architectural triumph of steel, the 175,000-square-foot structure is not only LEED certified for energy efficiency, but it’s also built to withstand earthquakes measuring up to 7.5 in magnitude. The building owes its temblor resistance to seismic dampers that absorb shock, allowing everyone inside to remain safe."  -  Manasa Reddigari for Bob Vila

Click here to see other most indestructible buildings.

Three GSBS Projects “Most Outstanding” by SHOKO SMITH

Awards for 2017 Most Outstanding Projects presented December 12 by Utah Construction & Design (UC&D) include three GSBS-designed projects among the 35 receiving awards determined by a panel of 7 industry professionals.

GSBS is recognized in the December issue of Utah Construction & Design   in three categories for its design of Herriman City Hall and Towne Center (Best Municipal Project), Home Depot Bulk Lumber Distribution Center (Best Industrial Project), and Regent Street (Best Public Space Project). 

 Herriman City Hall

Herriman City Hall

Herriman City Hall is the centerpiece of The Towne Center, a 10-acre park with a splash pad, ice ribbon, a history walk, large playground, gazebo, and an amphitheater with a  band-stand. It consolidates city activities under one roof, allowing residents access to all government services. In addition to providing city services as well as the Justice Court, the new building houses the Unified Police Department’s Herriman Precinct.

 Home Depot Lumber Distribution Center

Home Depot Lumber Distribution Center

Home Depot's Bulk Lumber Distribution Center is a 260,000 square foot structure for indoor and outdoor storage and staging of lumber products. It is served by 2 rail spurs, one serving the outdoor area and one extending 300 feet into the building.  This spur, along with two truck lanes running the length of the building provide weather protection for sensitive materials.  There is also a 5,000 square foot office area.

 Salt Lake City Regent Street

Salt Lake City Regent Street

The Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City hired GSBS Architects to design plans for Regent Street located between 100 and 200 South, parallel with Main Street. The space opened in the Fall, a unique thoroughfare where the look, and function was designed for people to enjoy themselves and the built environment.  It is scaled for people, not cars, and is generating a rhythm of its own.

GSBS President Kevin Miller said teams of designers, contractors, and engineers worked hand-in-hand to create these Utah projects which are recognized among the best in Utah.

New Herriman City Hall Opens, Fulfills City's Dream for a Town Center by SHOKO SMITH

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Herriman City leaders first envisioned a new town center and city hall in 2008.  After years of preparation and financial planning, city officials broke ground in late 2015 on a major project they believed would serve as a gathering place for the community as well as stimulate economic growth through its all-inclusive design.

Scott Henriksen, AIA, GSBS Design Architects said “The architects spent several weeks working with the city council and city staff to verify the program and needs of each department while maintaining functionality and efficient use of space.  After several ideas and concepts were considered, GSBS Architects submitted interior and exterior designs for the new structure and surrounding town center amenities. The GSBS Team included Scott Henriksen, Brian Jacobson, Erin Holcombe, Jeff Bolinger, Allison Mitchell, Jesse Allen, Bryce Ward, Eric Stanley, David Brems, and Christine Richman. 

On September 22, 2017, the dream was realized when the doors to the new Herriman City Hall were officially opened. City Hall is the centerpiece of The Towne Center, a 6-acre park with a splash pad, ice ribbon, a history walk, and an amphitheater and band-stand. The park will be outlined by retail buildings with restaurants and boutique style shopping. Herriman’s New City Hall consolidates city activities under one roof, allowing residents access to all government services. In addition to providing city services as well as Justice Court, the new building will also house the Unified Police Department’s Herriman Precinct.

Herriman officials said they “are thrilled to be continuing the vision from years ago when the city secured this location for city hall. We have worked long and hard on the design and layout to assure the facility and park are an enhancement to the area while keeping with the traditional look and feel that is Herriman City.”

 

Long Canyon Mine: Among ENR Southwest Best Project Winners 2017 by SHOKO SMITH

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GSBS Architects and Big D Construction are being recognized by ENR Magazine for winning “Best Project 2017” in the Energy/Industrial Category for design and construction of facilities to support the function of a new, ground up, gold mine in the Goshute Valley in western Nevada. A detailed article will appear in the November issue of ENR Southwest. A panel of eight judges represented the varied demographic imprints in the industry — from project manager to vice presidents and senior architects.  

According to, Justin Jacobs, AIA, Sr. Project Manager with GSBS Architects,  the development includes a 31,000 square foot fleet maintenance facility, 7,300 square foot wash bay and 15,800 square feet in two materials processing buildings along with approximately 18,000 square feet of administration support in three separate buildings and two fueling stations, one specifically designed to serve the needs of heavy mining equipment. Due to the array of mobile equipment planned to be used on site, the maintenance facility was designed to accommodate widely varying sizes and shapes of vehicles.

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A single 40 ton bridge crane, capable of lifting the dump bed off of a haul truck spans the length of the building and is mounted at a height to maintain approximately 48’-0” clear within the space. An indoor lube room housing nine separate vertical storage tanks ranging in size from 3,000 – 8,000 gallons in volume sits adjacent to the maintenance bays to deliver six different weights of motor oil as well as grease and hydraulic oil efficiently to the necessary points of delivery. A heavily reinforced concrete floor was designed to eliminate the need for jointing to accommodate shrinkage. Translucent panels ring the high bay to provide natural light into the space to supplement the high-output efficient LED lighting.

 

Five GSBS-designed Schools Win Energy Star Certification by SHOKO SMITH

 Hillside Middle School

Hillside Middle School

Five Salt Lake City schools designed by GSBS Architects,  have fulfilled their original promise of energy efficiency.  The five schools were designed by GSBS between 1999 and 2007. GSBS Architects, in conjunction with MKK Engineers, verified the energy performance by evaluating energy bills and with on-site verification.  All of the schools are in the top 75th percentile nationally.

According to Garth Shaw, who led the project for GSBS,  the effort was undertaken on a pro bono basis to help the firm benchmark their designs and to illustrate their commitment to the highest level of energy performance.

Energy Star Certification goes toRose Park Elementary, Bonneville Elementary, Beacon Heights Elementary,  Glendale Middle School, and Hillside Middle School.

 Beacon Heights Elementary School

Beacon Heights Elementary School

Our unique perspective began with our founders and continues today. by SHOKO SMITH

MIKE STRANSKY, ‘REVEARED THROUGHOUT THE A/E INDUSTRY,’ IS PROFILED IN UTAH CONSTRUCTION & DESIGN MAGAZINE.

 

Ever been to lunch with Mike Stransky?

Typical one-hour power lunches with the long-time Principal of Salt Lake-based GSBS Architects (Gillies Stransky Brems Smith) tend to organically stretch into two hours and change because of his magnetic presence and gregarious personality.  Stransky is also easy to spy in a crowded room, with his signature white hot, close-cropped hair.

“He has a big presence…that big shock of white hair,” said GSBS President/CEO Kevin Miller. “When you walked into a room you knew he was there. Everybody knows who Mike is.

“When we officed in the Walker Center we’d go to lunch at Lamb’s or Judge Cafe.. I was still a young guy and didn’t go to lunch all the time. We’d walk over to Caputo’s and an hour lunch would be an hour and a half because he knew everybody. That ability to be visible and not just represent the firm but the profession in the community…is unique.”

“I called him Mr. Mayor,” quipped Tom Batenhorst, Principal and Manager of the firm’s Fort Worth, Tex., office. “It should be a five minute walk down the block, but  Mike was always busy talking to people, shaking hands. He’s just a great mentor--how he conducted himself in interviews, his ability to network.”

“Mike’s gift is his ability to work with people,” said David Brems, Principal and Director of Design. “Mike can walk into a room and walk out with a job. People are attracted to him and trust him. Leading the marketing efforts for our firm was his responsibility and he was one of the best at it. Mike is the guy you want in the room to work through problems.”

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