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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Gilgal Sculpture Garden, Salt Lake City, Utah

It is really fun to be a tourist in "your own city".  

I have been here for 5 months and still have so many restaurants to eat at and sights to see.  This weekend, the weather was in the high 50's (in mid January) and the sun was shining.  We decided to take the bikes (and Olive) for a bike ride down to the Gilgal Sculpture garden, smack downtown in Salt Lake City. 

It is about 1.5 miles from my apartment and right off 500 s right in the commercial/residential area  (749 E 500 S).

The park is basically a small garden between two residential houses, behind a commercial complex.  
Really odd location but it kind of adds to its funky charm.  

Now, a little about the park:

"The park, which is filled with unusual symbolic statuary associated with Mormonism, notably to the Sphinx with Joseph Smith's head, was a labor of love designed and created by LDS businessman Thomas Battersby Child, Jr. (1888-1963) in his spare time. The park contains 12 original sculptures and over 70 stones engraved with scriptures, poems and literary texts. Gilgal Sculpture Garden is the only designated "visionary art environment" in the state of Utah".  Wikipedia

"Thomas Child, a masonry contractor and Bishop of the 10th Salt Lake LDS ward, conceived of a symbolic sculpture garden that would be a retreat from the world and a tribute to his most cherished religious and personal beliefs.[1] He began building the garden in the back yard of his family home in 1947, when he was 57 years old, and continued to pour his time and money into the work until his death in 1963. Child named the garden Gilgal after the Biblical location where Joshua ordered the Israelites to place twelve stones as a memorial. The name "Gilgal" is sometimes translated to mean "circle of standing stones," an appropriate appellation for a sculpture garden. Gilgal is also the name of a city and a valley in The Book of Mormon, a sacred scripture in Mormonism.
Many of the sculptures and quotations found at Gilgal refer to LDS themes: the restoration of the Priesthood, the great Mormon migration west, and the many similarities Child saw between the ancient Israelites and his LDS forefathers".  Wikipedia 

 Thomas Battersby Child, Jr. sculpture 

The famous Joseph Smith Sphinx.  Quite funny!


A really funky and fun (free!) park.  If you are in the city and have some time to spare, check out this park.  I am sure it is even prettier in the summer with all of the flowers.  

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