The past four decades have introduced the five tallest buildings in Provo. These buildings may not compare in height to skyscrapers in larger metropolitan areas, but they are identifiable structures in Provo’s urban landscape.
As of October 2016, the five tallest buildings in Provo are the Spencer W. Kimball Tower, Novell Corporate Headquarters, One Nu Skin Plaza, Zions Bank Financial Center and the Provo Marriott Hotel and Conference Center. But the Utah Valley Hospital is expanding, and one of its new buildings will be taller than the Kimball Tower.
The Kimball Tower has ranked as the tallest building in Provo since its completion in 1981. The 12-story tower is dedicated to the late President Spencer W. Kimball and stands at 162 feet. It houses classrooms and administrative offices for BYU’s College of Nursing and College of Family, Home and Social Sciences.
University archivist Cory Nimer works with records and photographs pertaining to BYU’s history, including aerial photographs documenting the BYU campus’s transformation from the 1920s. Although the Kimball Tower makes a late appearance in these photos, Nimer said, its height and central location have made it a landmark for the university and community.
“I am always impressed seeing the growth and change in campus facilities,” Nimer said. “Brigham Young University has come a long way since its founding.”
As former BYU President Jeffrey R. Holland described it, “The towering, prophetic stature of Spencer W. Kimball will be forever in our thoughts and our hearts as we view this towering structure on campus, a veritable beacon of light, visible by day and by night throughout the length and breadth of this valley.”
After 35 years, the Kimball Tower remains the tallest building on the BYU campus; however, it only has a couple more years as the tallest structure in Provo.
The Utah Valley Hospital is currently undertaking a replacement project that
will result in two new buildings. The nine-story outpatient building will open in November 2017 and stand at 155 feet. The 12-story patient tower will be 209 feet tall — surpassing the Kimball Tower in height by almost 50 feet — when it is completed in September 2018.
Construction manager Josh Rohatinsky said the project’s purpose was to replace aging facilities and plan for the future of population growth.
“Being in such an established location in Provo, we don’t have the opportunity to move out more,” Rohatinsky said. “This hospital campus is very tight and when you’re dealing with a small footprint, the only way to go is up.”
Construction details for the Utah Valley Hospital Replacement Project can be found online.
Nimer said the Provo skyline will continue to expand as it grows to accommodate the population and needs of the community.
“In the end, change is inevitable, and I am sure that the transformation of Provo and the university campus will continue as both progress,” Nimer said. “Here in the archives, we will continue to preserve documentation of these changes for future researchers.”