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The Salt Lake Tribune – Abravanel Hall turns 40. Betrayal and Italian gold are part of its backstory.


The project promised to transform Salt Lake City — a distinctive new civic arena that would bolster a bid for the Winter Olympics, built alongside a new concert hall on the same downtown block.

But when the Salt Palace opened in 1969, the site for Symphony Hall remained a parking lot. Construction bids had been about $4 million more than the architects’ estimates. Symphony board member Obert C. Tanner — chairman of a commission charged with getting the hall built — “reluctantly” agreed to forego it, “reserving our plans to use the location … when funds might be available,” he wrote.

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