Tina Lewis provided Historic Park City with the history of the historic light poles.  There was a time when the light poles were removed by UDOT so they could install their typical highway light poles, as seen in the photo above.

Provided by Tina Lewis
I moved to Park City in 1974, when there were maybe 800 people in town, mostly silver miners. I started attending city council meetings and school board meetings. At a council meeting one night, maybe in 1977 or 1978, there was a discussion about Main Street improvements. There is no way I can describe to you what Main Street looked like back then, what a wreck it was, with most of the buildings boarded up or dilapidated and huge gaps in the street where buildings had burned down or fallen down. But the saddest thing to me was the gigantic, ugly, arching "freeway" lights on both sides of the street. I raised my hand at the meeting and said I thought that the first improvement that needed to be made was the replacement of those horrible, out-of-scale lights. The mayor explained to me that the old street lights, the original street lights, were thought to be too "old fashioned" and that Park City wanted to be "modern" so they had replaced the old street lights with new lights that they received as cast-offs from the Utah Department of Transportation, which took pity on the tiny, poor town of Park City and rounded up some old highway lights for them.  Remember that this was during a time when the Elks Club in Salt Lake took up donations to buy shoes for Park City children at Christmas, and Parkites were so ashamed of their old houses in the 1960s - a time when mid-century modern was the thing - that they ripped off their front doors and replaced them with plain doors from local Anderson Lumber, thinking that would somehow modernize their entire house. The town was ashamed of being "old" and the word "historic" was a derogatory word, not something to be proud of or to celebrate. Everyone in town wanted to get rid of everything historic.

So the mayor told me there was no way that they would want to replace the new lights with the old ones. He happened to mention that when the old ones were taken down they were thrown behind the fire station. On hearing that, a few of us young newcomers to town immediately bolted out the door and drove down to the fire station. In the dark, we scrambled through the weeds behind the station and, sure enough, there were the beautiful black original street lights, stacked like cord wood. We just stood there in reverence and realized what we had to do. I count that incident as the beginning of historic preservation in Park City.

The young upstarts pressured the city to not only replace the streetlights, but to make it very difficult for people to tear down historic buildings and to save the Miners Hospital that was scheduled for demolition. We saw the preservation of historic treasures as the key to Park City's economic revival and just simply as the right thing to do and we were determined to change the minds of the natives. In 1979, I ran for city council and won. The freeway street lights were removed and the originals re-installed, as part of a project that also replaced the crumbling Main Street sidewalks and some utilities. 

The first Christmas the old street lights were back up, I decided that the street would be magical with colored Christmas lights strung from light to light and each light wrapped with garlands of fresh greens, topped with big red bows. There was no money for that, so we all pitched in to buy the lights, I made all the bows from red velvet, and we got the guys who were cutting the runs at Deer Valley to bring us boughs.  A few of us spent every night the week after Thanksgiving hand-wiring the garlands. We got Utah Power & Light to loan us their truck and one morning at about 5am we put up all the garlands and bows and lights. Of course, then the council got into an argument about whether we should deliberately not plow Main Street, so that it would look like a Christmas card!