History of Orem, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)

One of the cohesive influences in Orem has been the Sharon Community Educational and Recreational Association, better known as SCERA. SCERA was created in 1933 under the guidance of Arthur V. Watkins, then president of the LDS Sharon Stake and later a United States Senator from Utah, as a substantial community effort at "planned and organized recreation." SCERA has fulfilled much of its anticipated role in the city since its birth in the depths of the Great Depression.

The first major evolution of Orem began in the early 1940s when the Geneva Steel Works was constructed by the federal government as an inland producer of steel. Built along the eastern shore of Utah Lake, Geneva has provided employment to many local residents, either directly or indirectly. In recent times, Geneva has spawned controversy because of increasing concerns over environmental damage caused by the plant and related concerns about lost employment which would be caused by the shutdown of the plant. USX Corporation, the former owner of Geneva, ceased active production of steel at the plant for a brief period in the mid-1980s and then sold the plant to a small group of investors who revived operations.

The second major change to the landscape of Orem came as many of its farms were converted to shopping centers and malls along State Street and the University Parkway, the intersection of which now probably stands as the focal point of the metropolitan Orem/Provo area. First the University Mall and later other malls attracted business away from downtown Provo, historically the central shopping area of Utah Valley. Little successful central planning has taken place in Orem, and it is as much without a central core now as it was when it was known as the Provo bench. Pockets of commercial and residential development dot the expansive area that is Orem.

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