Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City, Utah
Clockwise from top: The skyline in July 2011, Utah State Capitol, TRAX, Union Pacific Depot, the Block U, the City and County Building, and the Salt Lake Temple
Clockwise from top: The skyline in July 2011, Utah State Capitol, TRAX, Union Pacific Depot, the Block U, the City and County Building, and the Salt Lake Temple
Flag of Salt Lake City, Utah
Official seal of Salt Lake City, Utah
"The Crossroads of the West"
Location within Salt Lake County
Location within Salt Lake County
Salt Lake City is located in Utah
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
Location within Utah
Salt Lake City is located in the United States
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
Location within the United States
Coordinates: 40°45′0″N 111°53′0″W / 40°45′0″N 111°53′0″W / 40.75000; -111.88333UTC−6 (Mountain)
ZIP Codes
Area codes385, 801
FIPS code49-67000[5]
GNIS feature ID1454997[6]
WebsiteSalt Lake City
Capital and most populous city of the State of Utah

Salt Lake City (often shortened to Salt Lake and abbreviated as SLC) is the capital and the most populous municipality of the U.S. state of Utah. With an estimated population of 190,884 in 2014,[7] the city is the core of the Salt Lake City metropolitan area, which has a population of 1,153,340 (2014 estimate). Salt Lake City is further situated within a larger metropolis known as the Salt Lake City–Ogden–Provo Combined Statistical Area. This region is a corridor of contiguous urban and suburban development stretched along an approximately 120-mile (190 km) segment of the Wasatch Front, comprising a population of 2,423,912 as of 2014.[8] It is one of only two major urban areas in the Great Basin (the other is Reno, Nevada).

The world headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) is located in Salt Lake City. The city was originally founded in 1847 by Brigham Young, and other followers of the church, who were seeking to escape religious persecution in the mid-western United States. The Pioneers, as they would come to be known, at first encountered an arid, inhospitable valley that they then extensively irrigated and cultivated, thereby establishing the foundation to sustain the area's large population of today. Salt Lake City's street grid system is based on the north-south east-west grid plan developed by early church leaders, with the Salt Lake Temple constructed at the city's center.

Due to its proximity to the Great Salt Lake, the city was originally named "Great Salt Lake City"; however, the word "great" was dropped from the official name in 1868 by the 17th Utah Territorial Legislature.[9]

Immigration of international members of the church, mining booms, and the construction of the first transcontinental railroad initially brought economic growth, and the city was nicknamed the Crossroads of the West. It was traversed by the Lincoln Highway, the first transcontinental highway, in 1913. Two major cross-country freeways, I-15 and I-80, now intersect in the city. Salt Lake City has developed a strong outdoor recreation tourist industry based primarily on skiing, and hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics. It is the industrial banking center of the United States.[10]


External video
1866 Harper's Weekly View of Salt Lake City, Utah w- Brigham Young (Mormons) - Geographicus - SaltLakeCity-harpersweekly-1866.jpg
10 Towns that Changed America, WTTW, 56:02, segment from 12:00–16:20[11]
Map showing Salt Lake as Mexican territory in 1838
Source: Britannica 7th Ed.

Before settlement by members of the LDS Church, the Shoshone, Ute, and Paiute had dwelt in the Salt Lake Valley for thousands of years. At the time of Salt Lake City's founding, the valley was within the territory of the Northwestern Shoshone;[12] however, occupation was seasonal, near streams emptying from canyons into the Salt Lake Valley. One of the local Shoshone tribes, the Western Goshute tribe, referred to the Great Salt Lake as Pi'a-pa, meaning "big water", or Ti'tsa-pa, meaning "bad water".[13][14] The land was treated by the United States as public domain; no aboriginal title by the Northwestern Shoshone was ever recognized by the United States or extinguished by treaty with the United States.[15] The first U.S. explorer in the Salt Lake area is believed to be Jim Bridger in 1825, although others had been in Utah earlier, some as far north as the nearby Utah Valley (the Dominguez-Escalante expedition of 1776 were undoubtedly aware of Salt Lake Valley's existence). U.S. Army officer John C. Frémont surveyed the Great Salt Lake and the Salt Lake Valley in 1843 and 1845.[16] The Donner Party, a group of ill-fated pioneers, had traveled through the Great Salt Lake Valley in August 1846.

Salt Lake City c. 1880 by Carleton E. Watkins

The valley's first permanent settlements date to the arrival of the Latter-day Saints on July 24, 1847.[17] They had traveled beyond the boundaries of the United States into Mexican Territory[18] seeking a secluded area to safely practice their religion away from the violence and the persecution they experienced in the East. Upon arrival at the Salt Lake Valley, president of the church Brigham Young is recorded as stating, "This is the right place, drive on." Brigham Young claimed to have seen the area in a vision prior to the wagon train's arrival. They found the broad valley empty of any human settlement.

Part of Main Street, 1890

Four days after arriving in the Salt Lake Valley, Brigham Young designated the building site for the Salt Lake Temple, which would become a famous landmark for the church and for Salt Lake City.

The Salt Lake Temple, constructed on the block later called Temple Square, took 40 years to complete. Construction started in 1853, and the temple was dedicated on April 6, 1893. The temple has become an icon for the city and serves as its centerpiece. In fact, the southeast corner of Temple Square is the initial point of reference for the Salt Lake meridian, and for all addresses in the Salt Lake Valley.

The pioneers organized a new state called Deseret and petitioned for its recognition in 1849. The United States Congress rebuffed the settlers in 1850 and established the Utah Territory, vastly reducing its size, and designated Fillmore as its capital city. Great Salt Lake City replaced Fillmore as the territorial capital in 1858, and the name was later abbreviated to Salt Lake City. The city's population continued to swell with an influx of converts to the LDS Church and Gold Rush gold seekers, making it one of the most populous cities in the American Old West.

Explorer, ethnologist, and author Richard Francis Burton traveled by coach in the summer of 1860 to document life in Great Salt Lake City. He was granted unprecedented access during his three-week visit, including audiences with Brigham Young and other contemporaries of Joseph Smith. The records of his visit include sketches of early city buildings, a description of local geography and agriculture, commentary on its politics and social order, essays, speeches, and sermons from Young, Isaac Morley, George Washington Bradley and other prominent leaders, and snapshots of everyday life such as newspaper clippings and the menu from a high-society ball.[19]

Men lounging outside a saloon and a Chinese laundry, 1910

Disputes with the federal government ensued over the church's practice of polygamy. A climax occurred in 1857 when President James Buchanan declared the area in rebellion after Brigham Young refused to step down as governor, beginning the Utah War. A division of the United States Army, commanded by Albert Sidney Johnston, later a general in the army of the Confederate States of America, marched through the city and found it had been evacuated. This division set up Camp Floyd approximately 40 mi (64 km) southwest of the city. Another military installation, Fort Douglas, was established in 1862 to maintain Union allegiance during the American Civil War. Many area leaders were incarcerated at the territorial prison in Sugar House in the 1880s for violation of anti-polygamy laws. The church began its eventual abandonment of polygamy in 1890, releasing "The Manifesto", which officially suggested members obey the law of the land (which was equivalent to forbidding new polygamous marriages inside the U.S. and its territories, but not in church member settlements in Canada and Mexico). This paved the way for statehood in 1896, when Salt Lake City became the state capital.

The First Transcontinental Railroad was completed in 1869 at Promontory Summit on the north side of the Great Salt Lake.[20] A railroad was connected to the city from the Transcontinental Railroad in 1870, making travel less burdensome. Mass migration of different groups followed. Ethnic Chinese (who laid most of the Central Pacific railway) established a flourishing Chinatown in Salt Lake City nicknamed "Plum Alley", which housed around 1,800 Chinese during the early 20th century. The Chinese businesses and residences were demolished in 1952 although a historical marker has been erected near the parking ramp which has replaced Plum Alley. Immigrants also found economic opportunities in the booming mining industries. Remnants of a once-thriving Japantown – namely a Buddhist temple and Japanese Christian chapel – remain in downtown Salt Lake City. European ethnic groups and East Coast missionary groups constructed St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral in 1874, the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Madeleine in 1909 and the Greek Orthodox Holy Trinity Cathedral in 1923. This time period also saw the creation of Salt Lake City's now defunct red-light district that employed 300 courtesans at its height before being closed in 1911.[21]

Panorama of Temple Square taken in 1912

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, an extensive streetcar system was constructed throughout the city, with the first streetcar running in 1872 and electrification of the system in 1889. As in the rest of the country, the automobile usurped the streetcar, and the last trolley was approved for conversion in 1941, yet ran until 1945, due to WWII. Trolley buses ran until 1946. Light rail transit returned to the city when UTA's TRAX opened in 1999.[22] The S Line (formerly known as Sugar House Streetcar) opened for service in December 2013 on an old D&RGW right-of-way.[23][24]

The city's population began to stagnate during the 20th century as population growth shifted to suburban areas north and south of the city. Few of these areas were annexed to the city, while nearby towns incorporated and expanded themselves. As a result, the population of the surrounding metropolitan area greatly outnumbers Salt Lake City. A major concern of recent government officials has been combating inner-city commercial decay. The city lost population from the 1960s through the 1980s, but experienced some recovery in the 1990s. Presently, the city has gained an estimated 5 percent of its population since the year 2000.[25]

The city has experienced significant demographic shifts in recent years.[26] Hispanics now account for approximately 22% of residents and the city has a significant LGBT community.[27] There is also a large Pacific Islander population, mainly made up of Samoans and Tongans; they compose roughly 2% of the population of the Salt Lake Valley area.

Salt Lake City was selected in 1995 to host the 2002 Winter Olympics. The games were plagued with controversy. A bid scandal surfaced in 1998 alleging bribes had been offered to secure the city for the 2002 games location. During the games, other scandals erupted over contested judging scores and illegal drug use. Despite the controversies, the games were heralded as a financial success, being one of the few in recent history to profit. In preparation major construction projects were initiated. Local freeways were expanded and repaired, and a light rail system was constructed. Olympic venues are now used for local, national, and international sporting events and Olympic athlete training.[28] Tourism has increased since the Olympic games,[29][not in citation given] but business did not pick up immediately following them.[30] Salt Lake City expressed interest in bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympics.[31][32] However, Beijing was selected to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.[33]

Salt Lake City hosted the 16th Winter Deaflympic games in 2007, taking place in the venues in Salt Lake City and Park City,[34] and Rotary International chose the city as the host site of their 2007 convention, which was the single largest gathering in Salt Lake City since the 2002 Winter Olympics.[35] The U.S. Volleyball Association convention in 2005 drew 39,500 attendees.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Salt Lake City
aragonés: Salt Lake City
asturianu: Salt Lake City
Avañe'ẽ: Salt Lake City
azərbaycanca: Solt Leyk Siti
Bân-lâm-gú: Salt Lake City
беларуская: Солт-Лэйк-Сіці
Bikol Central: Salt Lake City
Bislama: Sol Lek Siti
български: Солт Лейк Сити
bosanski: Salt Lake City
brezhoneg: Salt Lake City
čeština: Salt Lake City
Diné bizaad: Sooléí
Ελληνικά: Σολτ Λέικ Σίτι
español: Salt Lake City
Esperanto: Sallaga Urbo
estremeñu: Salt Lake City
français: Salt Lake City
Bahasa Indonesia: Kota Salt Lake
interlingua: Salt Lake City
Interlingue: Salt Lake City
íslenska: Salt Lake City
italiano: Salt Lake City
kernowek: Salt Lake City
Kreyòl ayisyen: Salt Lake City, Utah
Кыргызча: Солт-Лейк-Сити
кырык мары: Солт-Лейк-Сити
لۊری شومالی: سالت لیک سیتی
latviešu: Soltleiksitija
lietuvių: Solt Leik Sitis
lumbaart: Salt Lake City
македонски: Солт Лејк Сити
Mirandés: Salt Lake City
Nāhuatl: Salt Lake City
Nederlands: Salt Lake City
नेपाल भाषा: साल्त लेक सिति
norsk nynorsk: Salt Lake City
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Salt Lake City
Papiamentu: Salt Lake City
Piemontèis: Salt Lake City
português: Salt Lake City
română: Salt Lake City
sicilianu: Salt Lake City
Simple English: Salt Lake City
slovenčina: Salt Lake City
slovenščina: Salt Lake City
ślůnski: Salt Lake City
Sranantongo: Salt Lake City
српски / srpski: Солт Лејк Сити
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Salt Lake City, Utah
Taqbaylit: Salt Lake City
татарча/tatarça: Солт-Лейк-Сити
Türkçe: Salt Lake City
українська: Солт-Лейк-Сіті
Tiếng Việt: Thành phố Salt Lake
Volapük: Salt Lake City
文言: 鹽湖城
粵語: 鹽湖城
žemaitėška: Solt Leik Sitės
中文: 盐湖城