About Gilgal

Gilgal Sculpture Garden can be found at 749 East 500 South in Gilgal. Salt Lake City. The city was envisioned, constructed, and built. Gilgal Sculpture Garden is located in Gilgal at 749 East 500 South. The city of Salt Lake. Thomas Battersby Child, Jr. envisioned, designed, and developed the town in the mid-twentieth century.

Many people are ignorant of the garden’s existence since it is hidden between residences and businesses in the center of the block. When they arrive for the first time, they experience a genuine feeling of discovery. Find out more.

The Gilgal Sculpture Garden has 12 unique sculptures and over 70 stones etched with scriptures, poetry, and literary writings. Overall, Gilgal Sculpture Garden is notable because it is Utah’s sole recognized “visionary art setting.”


Gilgal Garden is the physical manifestation of Thomas Child’s deep-seated convictions. “Try to make your ideas express themselves with your hands if you wish to be brought down to earth in your thinking and learning,” Child advised. The garden has twelve unique sculptural compositions and over 70 stones carved with scriptures, poetry, and philosophical literature. Each reflects a concept that spoke to the Child throughout his lifelong spiritual journey. The sculptures and stones form a meaningful environment and a one-of-a-kind piece of art.

Thousands of people visited Gilgal Garden throughout Child’s lifetime. He anticipated that through creating the garden, visitors would be inspired to explore “the unanswered riddles of life” and fight to discover their solutions. The Child knew that many people would find Gilgal Garden unusual, but he hoped they would embrace the challenge. “You’re not required to agree with me,” he stated. “You may think I’m crazy, but I hope I’ve piqued your interest and curiosity.”

The Child started construction in Gilgal Garden in 1945 at age 57. He’d already had a successful masonry contractor’s profession, married and established a family, and been a community leader; He had been seeking a bishop of the LDS Tenth Ward for many years, nearly 19 years when he died. Until his death in 1963, Child’s garden took much of his time and money.

Creating Sculptures from Stones

The Child made extraordinary efforts to get massive sFor his sculptures; he uses stones weighing up to 62 tons. He has high regard for the inherent beauty of his materials. He explored the state, searching for “a boulder in which I could lay over the notion and tell the tale and yet have it a stone.” A child often hired huge trucks and heavy machinery to remove the stones and transport them to his yard.

The Child had a whole workshop in his backyard, replete with unique tools for handling and cutting the stone. He boasted that only raw materials were carried into the yard and that all finishing work was completed on-site.

A child uses an oxyacetylene torch, similar to those used to cut steel or stone. The torch’s heat melted the waste rock and bonded the surface of the remaining stone, giving it a glossy shine. Bryant Higgs, Child’s son-in-law and helper pioneered this sculpting approach as a competent welder.

Higgs taught sculptor Maurice Brooks of Utah how to use a torch. Brooks carved elements for many of Child’s works, including The Sphinx, The Monument to Trade, Daniel II, Malachi, and the last chapter of Ecclesiastes. After carefully following Child’s advice.

Gilgal Garden is Utah’s only “visionary art environment.” These works of art are often constructed from found materials by people with no professional creative skills to express a particular moral or religious stance. Watts Towers in Los Angeles and Houston’s Orange Show are two examples. Are only two instances. Are only two cases. These are examples of creative settings. Most are unknown, and many are on the verge of becoming so.

Preserving and Restoring Gilgal Garden

When Thomas Child died in 1963, Gilgal Garden was passed to new private owners. Friends of Gilgal Garden (FOGG) was founded in 1997 to safeguard the land against development while also ensuring its preservation for public use. FOGG bought Gilgal Garden in 2000 with the Trust for Public Land and Salt Lake City Corporation. Residents of Salt Lake County, as well as the Mormon Church Foundation and The George S. Taylor Foundation, made contributions. The George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Foundation were among those who contributed to this fund, making the acquisition possible. Individual donations are also welcome.FOGG is currently the curator of Gilgal Area, where she is in charge of preserving Gilgal’s art and improving the garden. Since 2000, FOGG has undertaken several projects to stabilize and enhance the park, including the construction of a formal entrance, security fencing, a 110-foot-long retaining wall, the restoration of the bowery in the northeast corner of the garden, and the creation of an attractive new seating area.

FOGG has also worked to preserve the sculptures and carved stones in the garden. Weather, excessive plant growth, and vandalism have all harmed most of the garden’s art. FOGG has hired qualified artisans to delicately restore the stones and replace lost sections of the art based on the suggestions of professional conservators. They can avert additional degradation and the catastrophic loss of Gilgal’s artistic riches by addressing today’s garden’s needs.

Making the Garden Bloom

Thomas Child hired numerous gardeners to care after the beautiful flora at Gilgal Garden. The garden grew further overgrown and unsightly after his death. Gilgal Garden was chosen as one of the Salt Lake County Master Gardener Association’s community projects in 2001. Master Gardener volunteers have devoted hundreds of hours of effort since then, cleaning overgrown areas, tilling in fresh mulch, and planting new flowers and plants.

The Salt Lake City Council authorized funds in 2013 to rebuild the garden’s aging irrigation system. The new methodology gives a far more predictable and sustainable method of caring for the garden’s plants, shrubs, and trees. The Salt Lake Master Gardener Association altered the plants to be more water-efficient and to bloom three times a year. Even in the winter, the plants will be attractive.

The Master Gardeners’ efforts have assisted in restoring the garden’s original ambiance, improving visitors’ ability to see the art, and creating a lovely refuge in the center of Salt Lake City. Friends of Gilgal Garden gratefully acknowledge the Salt Lake County Master Gardeners Association for their tremendous labor and devotion to maintaining Gilgal Garden’s beauty. Click here.


Can they have a wedding, reception, or another event at Gilgal?

Yes, however, their current policy prohibits food and catered gatherings.

Access to adequate facilities is necessary for large groups to be feasible.

Are dogs permitted in the park?

Yes, however, their current policy prohibits food and catered gatherings.

Access to adequate facilities is necessary for large groups to be feasible.

Are handicapped parking and wheelchair access available?

Yes. Wheelchairs are welcome in the park, and street parking is available.

For more information, visit their website or call them at (801) 972-7860