The "heritage commons" preserves the core of the historic structures associated with Fort Douglas. Centered on the Parade Field are numerous buildings built as barracks for infantry troops or homes for officers. Most date to 1875 ( a year before the Custer massacre) and are considered to be among the finest surviving examples of "quartermaster gothic" architecture.
The first troops to arrive in 1862 lived in hastily made dugouts covered by tents. The remains of one dugout had been located by archeologists, near the present site of the pedestrian overpass: It was probably the home and store of the post trader or "Sutler" the forerunner of the Post Exchange or PX to supply miscellaneous good to the troops and their families. The Sutter was especially welcome at Fort Douglas as Brigham Young had forbidden the Mormons in Utah from doing business with the Army at Fort Douglas.
While only photos of the excavated location remain today, photos of a reconstructed dugout near Logan, Utah, at the home of the Festival of the American West show how the Fort Douglas structures may have appeared.
The following year permanent buildings were started. Numerous log buildings were erected that year for living quarters and supply buildings. Adobe began to be used for other buildings Only one adobe building remains, the former post commander's quarters (Building 55).
In 1875 extensive construction at the post replaced the log structures with the red sandstone buildings seen today. Later construction in 1884, 1910 and 1931 added more buildings to meet the changing needs and missions of the Fort.
Many buildings have been modified for different purposes, destroyed by fire, or replaced by newer buildings, or eventually destroyed to make room for non-military uses as Fort Douglas' land was absorbed by the expansion of Salt Lake City, and the University of Utah's campus and associated research park business partners.
Building 32: Built in 1875 to house an Infantry company (about 50 men), this has been used at various times for office space, a post office and supply storage. Building 32 now houses the museum, gift shop, library and several offices.
Building 31: Like the adjacent Building 32, this was built in 1875 to house an Infantry company (about 50 men). Over the years it has been used for varied purposes, including the post library. This will be the location of the Museum's new exhibits.
Bishop Blyth died in London in 1914 and his successor, Bishop Rennie MacInnes, took up residence in Cairo, access to Jerusalem being impossible at this time. Following the Balfour declaration and Allenby’s entry to Jerusalem in November 1917, Bishop MacInnes returned.
Building 55: Built in 1863, it is the only surviving example of adobe construction at Fort Douglas. Serving first as the Post Commander's house, it was later used as housing for other officers or senior non-commissioned officers. This building is currently not open to the public.
Fort Douglas Military Museum
32 Potter Street
Fort Douglas, UT 84113