Salt Lake City’s skyline exemplifies the strengths of the city itself. From its soaring secular architecture to its extraordinary public buildings, here are 10 Salt Lake City architectural landmarks you won’t want to miss:
The most recognizable landmark in Salt Lake City is Temple Square. Completed in 1892, the temple interior is only open to Mormons with current temple recommendations which state the individual is living up to Church standards. However, tours given in 30 languages depart from the square daily and explore the outside of the temple as well as notable surrounding buildings. There are also free concerts on the weekends by the famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The Temple features 16 foot thick granite walls, 6 spires, and a 22 karat gold statue of the angel Moroni.
Another exemplary form of secular architecture is the Cathedral of the Madeline. Completed in 1909, the Cathedral’s Romanesque exterior was designed by Carl Neuhausen and its Gothic interior was designed by John Theodore Comes. The Cathedral is open to the public seven days a week, and features concerts by nationally recognized organists.
The Meditation Chapel is pink marble with intricate bronze doors and acid-etched windows. It was built by Mr. and Mrs. Ross Beason in 1948 as a memorial to their son who died in World War II, and to all members of the military whose remains were not recovered after the war. The surrounding Memory Grove Park contains more than 300 granite markers in memoriam to Utah’s servicemen.
The Salt Lake City and County Building was completed in 1894 and is an outstanding example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture. The building has gargoyles, towers, carved reliefs of Utah history, and a statue of Columbia, who was an early symbol of America. In the late 1980s it became the first building in the world to be retrofitted with base isolators to protect it against damage from an earthquake. The building served as the state capitol until 1916.
Completed in 1915 at a cost of $ 2.74 million (which is about $ 53 million by today’s standards), the Utah State Capitol is in the style of Renaissance Revival-style architecture. Designed by Richard Kletting, the building had a progressive design that included reinforced concrete, elevators and electric lighting. In 2004 the building was extensively renovated, and artwork, fixtures and furnishings were conserved and acquired.
Salt Lake Union Pacific Railroad Station embodies the importance of the railroad to Utah’s early development. The station was built in 1909 at a cost of $ 300,000 (almost $ 6.5 million in today’s terms). The exterior is French Second Empire and the interior is French Renaissance. The opulent station now features a concert venue, appropriately called The Depot.
The Salt Lake City Public Library was designed by Israeli architect Moshe Safdie. Featuring an ultra-modern design with flights of whimsy, the wedge-shaped building features beautiful mountain views, perfect for contemplating any of the more than 500,000 books in the library’s collection.
Thomas Kearns was silver miner, a U.S. Senator and publisher of the Salt Lake Tribune. The 28-room mansion he completed in 1902 is now the Utah governor’s official residence. Designed by Carl Neuhausen, the chateauesque home was restored in 1996.
David Keith was Thomas Kearns’ partner in the Silver King Coalition mine, where the two struck it rich in the Park City silver mines. His home, located on South Temple Street, features intricate woodwork, wall coverings, and stained glass.
The McCune Mansion was completed in 1901 and restored one hundred years later. The home was the residence of Alfred and Elizabeth McCune and today is used for wedding receptions. Featuring satin-grained mahogany from South America, roof tiles from the Netherlands, and a large mirror from Germany, the McCunes spared no expense in the construction of their house. The ceiling murals and decorative borders took an artist from New York City two years to finish.
Lisa Brown is a Sales and Marketing Associate for Almost Home USA (http://www.almosthomeusa.com/corporate-housing-salt-lake-city.html), a corporate housing company whose goal is to provide such excellent experiences for their clients that they feel almost home.