The Zion Cooperative Mercantile Incorporated (ZCMI), America’s first department store was established in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1868 and founded by Brigham Young. By the 1880’s the store was thriving and ordered a new cast iron façade from a Philadelphia manufacturer. The newly enlarged store offered the largest selection of goods west of the Mississippi river and east of San Francisco. In 1973 a new retail mall was being planned for the down town blocks surrounding ZCMI. Steven T. Baird a young preservation architect was commissioned to develop a plan to save the 100 year old landmark. He learned that manufacturing architectural cast iron was a lost art and set out developing the methodology for this type of restoration. He brought together a team of skilled artisans and trades to restore the magnificent ZCMI façade. This project, the first major cast iron restoration in the country, became the inspiration for numerous other inner city developments. The team of artisans and craftsmen evolved into Historical Arts & Casting, Inc. a firm dedicated to keeping alive the history, tradition and craftsmanship of architectural cast metal ornament.
A revitalization of downtown Salt Lake City through the City Creek Project brought HIstorical Arts & Casting full circle back to the project in which they started in 1973. A full take down of the original facade was performed. The facade was then stored at HACI’s facility in West Jordan, Utah until restoration was cleared to begin. After a total razing of the original ZCMI building had been completed the rebuilding of the new Macy*s department store was begun as did the restoration of the facade, considered a historical treasure in Salt Lake City. After everything was completed the facade restoration was considered a the crowing jewel to the whole project.