About the Arlington
The building was a nod to the Art Deco style by Scott & Welch (who also designed the SLC Masonic Temple).
Arlington was a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project to help the community after the Great Depression.
It has a unique park-like setting in one of the rare green spaces left along State Street in Salt Lake County.
Generations of community members have attended or know people who have attended Arlington.
Murray City Hall, photographed circa 1995. Courtesy Utah State Office of Historic Preservation.
History of Arlington
In 1899, the first Arlington School – originally Murray Central School – was constructed. It was a three-story, red brick building on sandstone foundation. After Murray City established its own school district, the school board chose the name Arlington in 1906.
In 1938, Murray built a new Arlington School parallel to State Street in front of the original school. It was built using funds from a bond as well as funds from the depression-era Public Works Administration (PWA) and the Works Progress Administration (WPA). It was completed in 1939 and occupied immediately following the school’s Christmas vacation.
The following description appears in the Murray Eagle entitled “1940 Was Time of School Expansion:” “The new Arlington is of two-story brick construction and is entirely fire and earthquake proof.”
In the late 1970s, Arlington’s prominent location on increasingly busy State Street had become a safety concern. The school board agreed to sell the building to the Murray Redevelopment Agency (RDA) for the sum of $1,625,000. Arlington Elementary closed at the end of the 1980-81 school year.
The city began moving its offices into the remodeled space in the summer of 1982 with the help of the Murray High School football team. In an article in the Murray Eagle on August 19, 1982, Mayor LaRell Muir declared, “It doesn’t look like a school building anymore.”
The remodeling project was completed for approximately $3 million, and the city was recognized by the Utah Heritage Foundation for the preservation and adaptive reuse of a historic building. Today, Murray City is building a new city hall and plans to sell the Arlington building. The Foundation strives to support the city in the preservation and adaptive reuse of this significant WPA-era building.
Arlington Elementary front entrance, undated photograph. Courtesy Murray City Museum Historic Photograph Collection.
Give Now to Save Our Future
With no historic protections in place, Murray has already lost many historic spaces important to our city’s heritage. And in their place, we’ve experienced an influx of mixed-use highrises that the citizens of Murray are not proud of. If we do not preserve the quickly diminishing presence of our historic places, we undermine the stability and strength of our future communities.
Murray’s economic success depends on the stewardship of its neighborhoods and buildings, like the Arlington. Only when we advocate for our historic buildings and the memories and stories they are made of can we make vital decisions that move us all forward. Your donation enables us to address and help manage the many challenges and opportunities facing Murray today and in the future. Please support us in our work to Save the Arlington for future generations to enjoy and cherish.
Great cities are tapestries – their history, character, and uniqueness are the fabric from which they’re woven.
Please help us spread the word!