Moments of Pause

Riverwalk rendering by Rand Pinson of Epicenter from 2009

First-year architecture students from the University of Utah’s College of Architecture + Planning recently installed their design/build group projects in Green River. Their eight interventions, or “moments of pause,” are a precursor to the Green River Trails System currently under development by the City of Green River. The idea of a trails system has been in the minds of Green River residents for years, and we’re glad to assist the City of Green River in making the trails a reality.

This project marks another successful partnership between the U’s CA+P and Epicenter that began in 2009. In 2010, first-year architecture students envisioned a revitalized Broadway and Main Street, developing renderings of buildings and building typologies to insert into the “missing teeth” of Broadway. This summer, we coordinated to work again with Professors Mimi Locher and Erin Carraher, building on the work of our summer interns Dan Teed and Steph Crabtree. Dan and Steph collaborated with the City of Green River and many allied groups to submit to the National Park Service a grant that would fund the technical assistance required to take the idea of a city-wide trails system and bring it to fruition. Since Epicenter’s founding, we’ve been interested in this community-driven idea of establishing a river-based trails system. Back in 2009 we hiked from the museum to the geyser and developed renderings of a potential river walk.

These “benches” are the first tangible step of the future trails system. Once completed, six trails will connect rural assets across, through, and surrounding the town, up to Swasey Beach, down to the Crystal Geyser, up to Monument Hill, up Long Street, and throughout the town from the JWP River History Museum to the Green River State Park and along Broadway.

Throughout the process, Councilwoman Penney Riches, Mayor Pat Brady, and city employees Karen Smith and CJ Vetere have worked with Steph, Dan, and Epicenter to define the trails and envision the scope. We’re looking forward to hearing from the National Park Service in the coming days regarding a grant for technical assistance that will resolve the scope, cost, clearances, and liability issues.

Monument Hill was the recipient of four interventions: a “double-date bench” near the Ratio sculpture, framed views of both Ratio and Elements, a series of distance-distorting boxes, and a mile-long walking trail with exercise interventions every quarter mile.
What the Mayor has coined the “double-date bench.”
The first framed view, bringing a sense of constraint to an otherwise boundless hilltop.
The second framed view, unframed, camouflaged within the context.
A series of cubes, evenly spaced, playfully distorting concepts of distance.
Local kids enjoy one of four interaction zones on the Steiner Trail.

The JWP River History Museum has long-needed a sense of connection to the river that has been inhibited by steep terrain and riverside brush. Three platforms were installed at the heights of historical floods. A future pathway will allow visitors down to the river’s edge to sit on the platform and dangle their feet.
The 2010 flood platform, marking a 12′ water height.

The Crystal Geyser is just five miles south of the town by river, but thirteen by road. A proposed future trail would be an adventurous ten mile (5-7 hour) round trip hike, culminating at the rare cold water geyser and its stunning layered travertine embankment.
This bench provides multiple seating options as visitors wait for the irregular eruptions of the geyser.

And finally, six miles north of town at Goose Point, five high-backed concrete and wood benches sit atop an overlook of the Green River as it exits Lower Gray Canyon. In person, the high backs of the benches block and open views to the Book Cliffs, providing compression to an unlimited view.
The bench allows for visitors to sit quietly and securely high above the valley floor.

Note: The last intervention, a set of three swings on private property, does not yet have full permission for exhibition at this time.