As residents and visitors wander downtown Price to celebrate International Days this year (July 29, 30 and 31), they will be able to see a new face on 74 North thanks to Utah’s Main Street Program.
In November of 2020, The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) launched the Utah Main Street Pilot Program. This collaborative initiative focuses on rural communities in the state and includes numerous state agencies and other organizations.
The community-led program, guided by a steering committee, addresses the individual districts’ needs and wants and is now providing two of the state’s rural downtowns, Price and Brigham City, with much needed support and a framework to revitalize efforts.
One of the programs the Main Street steering committee administers a facade grant program. With limited funding, the program’s goal is to provide an opportunity to downtown building owners in Price and Brigham City with projects to apply for matching funds that will jump-start their facade improvements.
The committee met for several months to address the downtown revitalization framework and announced the first façade grant awardees. One of those buildings was the Studebaker Building at 74 North in Price, which is owned by the extended family of the late Harry Dragatis.
According to the family, Harry Dragatis, an entrepreneur and salesman extraordinaire, signed a note for the building in July of 1941. At the time, he was one of the top Studebaker salesman and he sold more Studebakers out of the 74 North location than any other salesman in the West—hence the name, “Studebaker Building.”
The building has seen many different types of businesses over the years and currently houses Altitude Cycle, but it has never lost its importance to the community nor its original charm. The original flooring from 1919 is still in place and so are the wood ceilings.
Speaking for the family, Sandra Taylor, a granddaughter, noted that “the family wanted to honor our grandfather and our mothers. We’ve put a lot of blood, sweat and laughter into this restoration project. We’ve got a long way to go, but we are grateful for the $10,000 grant from the Main Street Program. Every little bit helps.”
Price City Mayor Mike Kourianos is a member of the Utah Main Street Program steering committee and has been working diligently with business owners and state officials to bring resource to help refresh downtown Price. “I hope people know that government can’t do this alone. Much credit and thanks must be given to the business owners. We appreciate the Dragatis family for their investment in our community in 1941 and for their investment in 2021.”
Program funding was secured from Bear River Association of Governments, GOED, State Historic Preservation Office, Utah Department of Transportation, Utah Office of Heritage and Arts, Utah Office of Tourism, and a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Business Development Program.
In the 2021 legislative session, Senator Derrin Owens and Representative Steve Lund ran and passed SB194, Utah Main Street Program, which allocates $300,000 of ongoing funds for statewide use in helping communities with their revitalization efforts for years to come.