FAIRVIEW–The Fairview Museum of History and Art is pleased to announce that it has received a $250,000 grant from the Fritz B. Burns Foundation for the purpose of preserving and restoring the historic Fairview City Hall building and making it part of the museum.
The project will be dedicated to former Fairview residents Elaine Anderson Rawlinson and Joseph Eli Rawlinson, some of whose family members are officers in the Burns Foundation.
The historic City Hall building is located adjacent to the museum’s Horizon Building. Built in 1900, the picturesque brick and stone structure served as Fairview’s first city hall until 1916, when it was traded to the North Sanpete School District and connected to the newly constructed junior high school. Many Fairview residents have fond memories of attending classes there.
The building was miraculously saved from destruction when the rest of the junior high school was demolished a few years ago. It has been vacant for several years but remains in surprisingly good condition for its age.
The grant money will be used to restore the City Hall building to its original splendor, making both exterior and interior repairs. Structural modifications will be undertaken to comply with modern building and earthquake codes while preserving the historic appearance of the structure.
The interior will be furnished and decorated in early 1900’s style. The restored building will house many of the artifacts that the museum currently has in storage due to lack of space.
In addition, the grant will help pay for landscaping and sidewalks connecting the building to the rest of the museum.
Officers of the Fritz B. Burns Foundation, a grantmaking company based in Woodland Hills, California, traveled to Fairview in October 2021 to view the structure and meet board members of the museum. They were very enthusiastic about the project and said it is one of the most exciting endeavors they will be involved in this year.
Jared Sorensen, vice president of finance for the museum, said that the interior prep work is already underway and plans are being drawn up for the seismic upgrade. That work will begin as soon as plans are approved; the foundation work will have to wait until the ground thaws in the spring.
“Our goal is to complete and dedicate the building this fall,” Sorensen said.
A specific date isn’t known yet because they have to special order new windows and other things, and they don’t know how long that will take, he said.
Museum officers expect that the addition of the Rawlinson/City Hall building will further enhance the museum’s reputation as a major Utah attraction. It will be a significant asset to the community for many decades to come.