Provo residents living near the historic Amanda Knight Hall have concerns regarding plans to remodel and reopen the building. On June 14, the city announced their plans to remodel the building and reopen it for female student housing.
In a Provo City Council meeting held Tuesday, Sept. 10, residents expressed their enthusiasm and concerns about the project. Landmarks Commission board member Diane Christensen said the commission is thrilled that the situation will have what they view as a positive outcome. The Landmarks Commission reviews and makes recommendations regarding historical sites in Provo.
“I want to pay a special tribute to Brigham Young University and especially President Worthen for what we were able to accomplish here,” Christensen said.
Amanda Knight Hall was originally housing for female students at BYU and was the location of the Church Language Training Mission in the ’60s and ’70s. However, because of a lack of functional support, BYU considered tearing the building down and building a replica in 2018.
Because of the building’s architectural uniqueness and value, residents and the Landmarks Commission pushed to preserve it.
In April of 2019, their wish was granted when Mountain Classic Real Estate officially bought the property from BYU and commenced plans for its remodeling. While some individuals lauded the decision, there has been some concern about how the remodel will impact the surrounding community.
Provo resident Valerie Paxman said her concerns have more to do with the aftermath of the project than the building itself. If the proposal to remodel is in fact passed and students move in, she worries parking would become the next dilemma Provo residents face.
“It would be awesome to see a historic building brought back to life and renewed, but the concern definitely is with the parking,” Paxman said.
The initial plans for remodeling include limited parking spaces for residents. Paxman questioned how parking would be policed and enforced and expressed her concern for the difficulty tenants would face because of the lack of parking.
However, Brick Oven, which is located across the street from Amanda Knight Hall, may offer a possible solution.
Brick Oven Manager Dan George said the restaurant tries to alleviate the parking shortage by allowing students to park in the Brick Oven parking lot overnight as long as they move their cars by 11 a.m. the following day.
“We’ve got arrangements with local complexes here for them to park in our parking lot,” George said. “I’d love to work with students or apartment complexes. … I don’t mind helping them out as long as they’re gone by 11:00 a.m.,” George said.