The O.C. Tanner store - a sensitive melding of the historic Beaux Arts structure with the conveniences of a modern building - is both historic and contemporary, grand and intimate, and preserves one of the area's most historic structures in the midst of a quickly evolving downtown Salt Lake City.
"Dad was a life-long lover of beauty, and creating 'the most beautiful jewelry store in the country' was one of his more audacious dreams," said Carolyn Tanner Irish, the daughter of Obert C. Tanner and chair of the Board of Directors for the O.C. Tanner Company since Obert's death in 1993.
"The renewal of this amazing building more than fulfills that dream, and it builds on the legacy of its own history in the civic life of Salt Lake. Thanks to the work of family members and many trusted associates over 82 years, the company is able to offer this remarkable gift to the city."
The opening of the new O.C. Tanner store provides a productive and continued use for a historic structure that not long ago faced an uncertain future. Built in 1905 as the city's main library, it served that function for 60 years. The building then was used by the beloved Hansen Planetarium, which left in early 2003 for a new location in the west part of downtown. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the three story building then sat vacant and decaying for four years until O.C. Tanner bought it from the city after submitting plans to restore its faded luster.
So at a time when businesses are hesitant to invest in anything "non-essential," what motivated O.C. Tanner to make this kind of community gift? According to David A. Petersen, CEO of the O.C. Tanner Co., the restoration continues a long tradition of generosity and community commitment for the company.
"Many locals know us primarily as the jewelry store company but the O.C. Tanner Company is the nation's leading employee appreciation and recognition firm," said Petersen. "This company is built on the philosophy of giving and demonstrating thanks. So building the jewelry store is simply another demonstration of our gratitude to our shareholders, thousands of employees, store customers and the 8,000 corporate clients we serve on a daily basis."
The O.C. Tanner store lies within a 10-block area of Salt Lake City that is the focus of $1.5 billion of investment over the next five years. Promoted under the moniker of Downtown Rising, the revitalization project marks one of the most significant periods of investment since the Pioneers first arrived in Salt Lake City.
"The magnificent remaking of this important and historic building is truly a gift to the citizens of Salt Lake City and the entire region," says Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker. "The O.C. Tanner Company has not only preserved a beautiful icon from our city's past, they have created a one-of-a-kind destination store that enhances our Capital City."
About O.C. Tanner Co.
O.C. Tanner is an international awards and recognition business based in Salt Lake City, Utah. The company helps more than 8,000 clients worldwide develop programs designed to recognize and appreciate their employees. With more than 1,800 employees, O.C. Tanner has a combined annual revenue of $420 million.
O.C. Tanner also operates two retail jewelry stores in Salt Lake City and Park City, Utah, carrying notable jewelry lines such as Beaudry, Roberto Coin, Patek Philippe, Wellendorff, and David Yurman. World renowned jewelry designer, Angela Cummings, has been commissioned to design a floral blossom necklace for the store's opening.