City Creek Canyon is significant as a large, open park area near the center of Salt Lake City. The first park in the city to take advantage of existing
natural terrain, the park is defined by the edges of the shallow canyon, which separates the Capitol Hill area from the Avenues. The park documents the efforts of city improvement groups, part of a national movement that saw the organization of such federations as the American Civic Association/ devoted to the promotion of civic improvement and city planning. Part of the park includes Memory Grove, a memorial park created after World War I.
The district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (#80003919)
Because of the strong geographic boundaries of the canyon, a small group of residences are popularly associated with the canyon area and are included in the historic district. Replacing earlier homes built in the area the houses were built in styles typical of the period from 1880 from 1920. They include residences of the families of Mornom apostles Erastus Snow and Parley P. Pratt, and several other prominent Mormon Church leaders.
In the 1860’s and 1870’s Brigham Young gave and sold sections of the area to
members of his family and to his friends. Several of these people built
houses in the lower section of the canyon mouth, probably because the canyon was wider at that point. The upper section of the canyon area remained undeveloped because it was narrower and more difficult to reach. P.J. Moran, a construction firm, and the city water works were developed in this area.
The city acquired the upper section of the canyon in 1902 when a Mrs. Young sold some property in the canyon to the city. That same year the city council passed a resolution suggesting that the canyon be made into a park because it was a natural site for recreation and there was no park in the area. The council also voted to ask the city engineer to straighten the
channel of City Creek and build a sixty-six foot road between State Street and Canyon Road. The park would be called City Creek Park and it would be open for the use of the citizens of Salt Lake.
Although the city passed the resolution to create the park in 1902 and similar suggestions were made during the next few years, the first improvements were not made until 1914. At that time some trees were planted by the mayor. The major developments in the park did not come until after World War I, however. At that time the Service Star Legion, a group of women whose sons had served during World War I, asked the city if the area could be set aside as a memorial to those who died during the war. A similar park had been made in Baltimore in 1919 by the Legion. The city agreed to the proposal, and the area was dedicated as a manorial park in 1924. Since then a number of monuments have been added and it is now a memorial to all men and women who lost their lives in defense of their country.
South of Memory Grove there are two small green areas in the center of Canyon Road. Originally Canyon Road had been built in two sections, with one side on each side of the City Creek. In 1909 the city decided to put the creek underground to protect the water supply and to prevent accidental drownings in the creek. About that time the residents of the area petitioned the city to make the creek bed that was being filled in into park areas. By 1912 a small formal park had been completed on the strip between 3rd and 4th Avenue and a green area was constructed in the park area above 4th Avenue.
Today Memory Grove and the small Canyon Road parks are unique in Salt Lake City and very unusual for downtown settings in large cities. The parks are within a few blocks of the downtown shopping center, yet since they are set in the mouth of a canyon, they are isolated from the bustle of city life. People from all walks of life use the park to escape from their daily routines.
The district also contains fifty-two residences, of which there are six
landmarks, thirty-five contributory and seven non-contributory houses.
In the 1860’s and 1870’s, Bri^iam Young started to divide his property in the
area. Much of it went to his children who later sold it to Salt Lake
residents. The first homes were built in the area in the 1880’s. In 1880
Helaman Pratt, a son of Parley P. Pratt, acquired some property from J.C.
Kinsberry, who owned a mill in the area. Pratt built a house in the area that
is still standing. In the early 1890’s Franklin Richards Snow, a son of
Erastus Snow, bought the house. Snow was instrumental in forming the
Consolidated Wagon and Machinery Company, a leading Salt Lake City business, and he later became an investment broker. His sons and sons-in-law were among those that built other houses in the Canyon Road Subdivision.
Snow was born in Salt Lake in 1854 and his family moved to St. George in 1862. In 1888 he cams to Salt Lake and started the Consolidated Implement
Company with his brother George H. Snow. He served as secretary and treasurer of the company and the Consolidated Wagon and Machine Company. He later became an investment officer.
Snow was an active member of he Mormon Church. He was the first stake
superintendent of religion classes and on the High Council. He was also a
counselor to the stake president, Richard W. Young.
Later Pratt’s brothers, Mathoni and Parley P. Pratt, Jr. also built in the
area. Mathoni built his house in 1887 and it is still standing. Qrson F.
Whitney, an assistant LDS Church Historian, bishop, and Mormon Apostle, bought his home in 1905. Whitney is also remembered for his three volume History of Utah. Parley P. Pratt Jr. ‘s home has been replaced by an apartment building, but two small houses that his widow, Brigamenia, built are still standing.
Another pioneer who lived in the area was Erastus Snow, one of the first
members of Brigham Young’s party to enter the Great Salt Lake Valley in 1847. Snow lived in St. George for most of his life. Erastus Snow was a polygamist and in 1888 he built the house on Canyon Road for his second wife, Minerva. Snow died in the house that same year.
One of the most unusual sites in the area is Ottinger Hall. The hall was
built in 1900 by the Volunteer Fireman Association and is listed on the
The houses in the City Creek Cmypn Historic District are similar to the
houses built in the Avenues and in Capitol Hill. The majority of them were
built between 1880-1919 and are similar to the houses built in Salt Lake
during that period.
The four houses that were built in the 1880s are mainly high pioneer and early Victorian style. The Minerva Snow house is a high style pioneer architectural plan while the Blair-Alt home which was built during the sane period of time represents early Victorian style. Five houses were added to the area during the 1890s. They are mainly vernacular with some elements of Italianate and Eastlake. The Hermann Anderson house is one of the best examples of Eastlake ornament in Salt Lake City
The majority of the homes in the district were built between 1900-1920 which was the tine that Salt Lake was experiencing a great deal of growth. In the 1910s bungalows and pattern book houses were constructed. The six homes built in the 1920s were bungalows, influenced by Tudor and Prairie styles.
The City Creek Canyon Historic District is a large park area with a small
residential section at the south end. The parks and the homes document an
important era of city growth and civic improvement.
Sites in the City Creek Canyon Historic District
- 170 Canyon Road – 1925
- 172 Canyon Road – Boyce Home – 1922
- 174 Canyon Road – 1967
- 180 Canyon Road – 1939
- 183 Canyon Road – Blair Home – 1888
- 193 Canyon Road – 1941
- 194-198 Canyon Road – Middaugh Home – 1923
- 197 Canyon Road – 1938
- 204 Canyon Road – 1904
- 207 Canyon Road – Anderson House – 1892
- 208 Canyon Road – Squires/Cobb House – 1903
- 211 Canyon Road – Kimball House – 1904
- 212 Canyon Road – 1906
- 217 Canyon Road – Snow House – 1888
- 218 Canyon Road – 1901
- 220 Canyon Road – 1903
- 224 Canyon Road – 1903
- 225 Canyon Road – 1927
- 226-228 Canyon Road – 1946-47
- 230-230A Canyon Road – 1916
- 231 Canyon Road – Walter Squires – 1905
- 232-234 Canyon Road – 1939
- 233 Canyon Road – Ottinger Hall – 1900
- 236 Canyon Road – 1903
- 238 Canyon Road – 1930
- 244 Canyon Road – 1899
- 248 Canyon Road – 1904
- 252 Canyon Road – Pratt/Snow House – 1880
- 260 Canyon Road – 1919
- 266 Canyon Road – 1919 – Arthur L. Smith
- 272 Canyon Road – 1919
- 278 Canyon Road – 1911
- 282 Canyon Road – 1905
- 288 Canyon Road – Ralph Snow – 1905
- 485 Canyon Road – Memory Grove – 1924
- 114 4th Ave – Calder House – 1923
- 116 4th Ave – Ross House – 1926
- 121 4th Ave – Pratt House – 1897
- 123 4th Ave – Pratt House – 1898
- 125-127 4th Ave – 1940
- 136 4th Avenue – Moyle house – 1923
- 145 4th Avenue – 1903
- 146 4th Avenue – 1969
- 151 4th Avenue – Kimball House – 1902
- 152 4th Avenue – Whitney House – 1903
- 156 4th Avenue – Pyper House – 1903
- 159-161 4th Avenue – Best House – 1907
- 160 4th Avenue – Pratt/Whitney House – 1887
- 163 4th Avenue – Ezra O. Best –
- 165 4th Avenue – Best House – 1902