There is a post-apocalyptic feeling upon entering Allen Park. All of the abandoned structures are fenced off and in some stage of decay with nature slowly taking back its place. There are small areas where animals were once kept along with the small aviaries. As you stroll in this quiet park there are engraved lampposts and signs filled with poetry mostly dedicated to nature. You pass by a log cabin and a few small homes in varying states of decay.
These buildings were once owned by George Allen, a surgeon and animal lover who lived in the log cabin and rented out the other spaces to students or anyone who wanted to live in such a small space. Allen was a man with great interest in animals, especially birds.
Allen bought the property in the early 1930s and turned it into a bird sanctuary. On Sunday evenings, he would open parts of the park to the public. It was not Allen’s only foray into animal conservation—he played an important role in the establishment of both Hogle Zoo and Tracy Aviary.
The bird sanctuary eventually closed, and the property fell into disrepair. (For a time, it was home to a community of squatters and earned the nickname “Hobbitville.”) But in March 2020, Salt Lake City purchased the land and announced plans to fix up the property and turn it into a public art park. Later that year, the first few portions of the restored park were opened to the public.
Know Before You Go
Check the city's park website for hours and construction updates.