Commercial Street
167-169 Regent Street, Salt Lake City, Utah

This site originally housed two buildings used as brothels on Salt Lake City’s busy Commercial Street during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Commercial Street was created in 1871, one of the first streets to be cut through Salt Lake City’s large city blocks. Commercial Street originally contained legitimate businesses but by the late 1880’s the Salt Lake Tribune referred to the street as “a resort of gamblers and fast women” and, according to the Deseret News, the occupants of Commercial Street were “the demi-monde, the male parasite, the dope fiend, the gambler, and the beggar.”

In 1893 a two story structure was built by Gustave S. Holmes at 167 Regent Street and in 1899 a similar structure was built by Stephen Hays at 169 Regent Street. The second floor of each building was a “parlor house,” so named because prostitutes ordinarily received their customers in a common parlor or sitting room. The large center room was surrounded by ten rooms, or “cribs,” just large enough for a bed, wash stand, dresser, and a chair or two. The architect of the site at 169 Regent Street was Walter E. Ware, one of early Salt Lake City’s prominent designers.

Commercial Street, now known as Regent Street, is the center for publishing of Salt Lake City’s two daily newspapers, Presses have been running on the street since the early 1900’s.