The Warehouse District Boundary Increase is a mixed development neighborhood reflecting the commercial/industrial growth and ethnic diversity of Salt Lake City, Utah, between 1869 and 1966. The district expansion is an increase in the geographic scope and period of significance for the existing Warehouse District (NRIS # 82004149), which was listed on the National Register in 1982 and encompassed 16 buildings constructed between 1890 and 1927. The existing
Warehouse District was listed under the Salt Lake Business District Multiple Resource Area (MRA) (NRIS # 64000872). This district boundary increase is also proposed to be listed under the MRA as well as under the additional documentation provided herein. The Warehouse District Boundary Increase is located along the western edge of downtown Salt Lake City and is roughly bounded on the north by 50 South, on the east by 300 West and West Temple Street, on the south by 1000 South, and on the west by the eastern right-of-way line of Interstate 15 (I-15). This boundary increase encompasses approximately 544 acres of developed lands and encompasses the entirety of the existing Warehouse District. The majority of resources in the boundary increase are commercial buildings [Photograph 1] associated with the warehousing and distribution services that developed following the arrival of freight railroads in Utah in 1869. Residential resources (e.g., single- and multi-family dwellings are relatively rare in the district and are largely found as isolated buildings or small clusters of buildings scattered throughout the district; the exception is a somewhat larger concentration of dwellings in the southern portion of the district. The Warehouse District Boundary Increase, excluding the existing Warehouse District, encompasses 361 primary resources, of which 200 (55%) contribute to the significance of the district. Among the contributing resources are 26 that are already listed on the National Register as individual resources. The contributing resources reflect a broad range of architectural types and styles from Classical to Modern and include one archaeological site. The remaining 161 resources encompassed by the district expansion are considered non-contributing resources—historical resources that have been substantially altered and out-of-period resources. Included among the contributing resources are two sites comprising an historical railroad network and an historical park (Pioneer Park/Old Pioneer Fort site; NRIS #74001938).


Narrative Description

The original Warehouse District (NRIS # 82004149) was listed on the National Register in 1982 and includes 16 buildings with a somewhat undefined period of significance from approximately 1890 to 1927. The original district boundary encompasses a roughly 1-block area straddling 200 South between 300 West and 400 West. Of the 16 buildings in the original district, 15 were determined to be contributing resources, and one was listed as a non-contributing resource. The additional information presented in this boundary increase nomination documents that the sole non-contributing resource of the original district has been demolished and changes the status of two of the contributing resources—357 West 200 South and 380 West 200 South—to noncontributing due to significant physical alteration subsequent to the original listing. The additional information provided here for the boundary increase also expands period of significance for the district from ca. 1890 to 1927 to 1869 to 1966 and updates the resource
counts to include properties outside the original district but inside the expanded district boundary.

Data regarding the current status of resources within the district expansion were compiled from a reconnaissance level field inventory conducted in late 2012 for the southern portion of the boundary increase study area and one conducted in 2015 specifically for the remaining areas within the study area as well as from the Salt Lake City Business District MRA. Each of the field surveys evaluated historical buildings for contributing and non-contributing status according to guidelines established by the Utah State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) in its Reconnaissance Level Survey: Standard Operating Procedures (revised March 2012). The information gathered from the two field studies was used to establish the area and resources to be included in the district boundary increase presented herein. The most common reasons for resources being excluded from the district or identified as non-contributing resources were dates
of construction outside the period of significance (1869-1966) or substantial physical alteration of the resource, the most common forms of which included introduction of modern cladding, changes in fenestration, and notable out-of-period additions.

Development Patterns

The building stock of the Warehouse District Boundary Increase reflects both the slow, but inevitable, development of the area as Salt Lake City expanded to the west of the initial village encampment during the decades after settlement and two major construction booms that truly shaped the character of the district. The first construction boom came during the early 1900s, when the economic depression of the 1890s had passed, and burgeoning railroad and mining
industries drew thousands of ethnic immigrants and large commercial investments to Salt Lake City. The second major construction boom occurred during the immediate post-World War II period, when a strong post-war economy and advancements in freight transportation drove renewed commercial investment in the area.

Among the greatest influences in the evolution of the built environment in the district are the railroads of the Denver & Rio Grande Western (D&RGW) and the Union Pacific (UPRR). Mainline tracks for each railroad extend north-south through the northern and western portions of the district and, historically, effectively established a boundary between the residential and retail areas of the neighborhood to the east and the industrial and distribution (warehousing)
areas to the west. Within the district, the remnants of the D&RGW’s system, which included a large rail yard inside the western perimeter of the district boundary increase, are the most intact. Historical buildings—most considered contributing to the district—remain from the maintenance facilities as do the multiple tracks and siding of the D&RGW yard. Occasional spur line tracks extend off the mainline railroads to historical warehouses and manufacturing complexes in the district, though most such extant tracks are no longer in use.

The earliest of the development for which buildings are still present in the study area are from the period of 1869 to 1899. A total of 29 buildings (20 of which are contributing) remain from this period. These buildings represent both residential (single family dwellings) and commercial uses of the area; they are scattered roughly evenly across the northern and southern portions of the district.

The period from 1900 to 1928 was characterized by a commercial/industrial building boom and the increasing settlement of ethnic minorities in the district. Of the documented buildings, 102 were constructed during this period. Of these, 78 are contributing. The contributing rail network and the contributing park also date to this period. By far, commercial and industrial buildings— especially warehouses—represent the majority of structures built during this period. Only a handful of single-family and multi-family dwellings from this period remain in the study area. Resources from this period can be found in most parts of the boundary increase but are located in greatest concentrations in the northeastern and southern parts of the district.

Not surprisingly, few buildings from the Great Depression and World War II period (1929 to 1945) are present in the district. In total, only 31 buildings from this period were identified; 22 are considered contributing resources. Of these, most were constructed during the early 1940s, after war-time demand had stimulated the economy and ended the Great Depression. All of the buildings from this period are commercial properties reflecting warehouse, manufacturing, retail, and office uses. They are found throughout the district.

As noted above, the second great building boom in the district occurred during the Post-War era (1946 to 1966). A total of 111 buildings from this period are located in the district; 79 are considered contributing resources. This represents the greatest number of structures from any historical period in the district, though it is only slightly more than the district’s first construction boom of the early 1900s. All but two (2) of the documented buildings are commercial in nature with office, retail, and light manufacturing appearing to represent the dominant uses.

Warehousing remained a common commercial use as well, with numerous warehouse/distribution buildings constructed during this period. The buildings from this period can be found throughout the district but are located in the highest numbers in the southern half of the district and along major roads with easy and short access to the on- and off-ramps of I-15 at 400 South, 500 South, 600 South, and West Temple Street.

Commercialization and Immigration (1900 to 1928)

Within the district are 104 resources that date to the period from 1900 to 1928, including 77 contributing buildings, 26 non-contributing buildings, one contributing rail network, and one contributing park. This period represents the first of the two major construction booms in the area and the one most directly influenced by the spread of rail networks throughout the Salt Lake Valley after the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. While the transcontinental rail
connection was established in 1869, it took several decades for the web of connector railroads and spur lines to expand throughout northern Utah. An economic depression in the early 1890s also slowed the spread of the lines. However, by the turn-of-the-century, an extensive and healthy rail network wound its way through the western side of Salt Lake City, and an economic boom spurred on by success in the local mining industry and the establishment of the D&RGW railroad shops near 400 South and 700 West drew much residential settlement and new commercial construction to the area.

Commercial and public structures are the most common category of buildings in the study area from this period. 1-, 2-, and 3-Part Block forms and warehouses are, by far, the most common commercial building type from this era. Most exhibit simple stylistic elements captured under the category of 20th Century Commercial style; however, others, such as those along 200 South between West Temple and 200 West and those within the previously listed Warehouse District, exhibit strong elements of Victorian styles, particularly the Italianate style. These “high-style” buildings were all designed by trained architects, including noted architects Walter Ware, Alberto Treganza, Richard Kletting, and Samuel Whitaker, among others.

Although still comprising but a small percentage of the building stock of the district, residential structures from this period can be found. Like their predecessors, the few dwellings are primarily single-family homes in Victorian forms, such as crosswing, rectangular block, and central-blockwith-projecting-bays forms. Not surprisingly, the dominant architectural styles applied to these dwellings are also of the Victorian era; Victorian Eclectic and Italianate are the most common definable styles. By the mid and latter part of the period, however, new residential forms began to appear along the Wasatch Front. These forms had their roots in trends in American architecture and included bungalows and period cottages. Unlike other neighborhoods of Salt Lake City where entire subdivisions of bungalows and period cottages sprang up along streetcar lines, such forms are relatively rare in the remaining historical building stock of the district. This reflects, in part, the shift away from residential construction to commercial construction that began in earnest in the neighborhoods of the district in the 1910s. Modern development, which has resulted in the demolition of many historical dwellings in the area as the popularity of the area for residential uses has waned in recent decades.

Several multi-family dwellings were also constructed in the district during the early part of this period, before the transition toward commercialization. Among the more interesting of these properties are the Covey Flats/La France walk-up apartment and rowhouses found along 300 South between 200 West and 300 West. Similar rowhouses and walkup apartments dating to this period are found in the southern part of the district, which retains, perhaps, the largest remaining collection of residential structures in the area.

Among the public buildings from this period are several churches and a railroad depot. The churches include the Period Revival style Japanese Church of Christ at 268 West 100 South (NRIS # 82004144), the Byzantine style Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church at 279 South 300 West (NRIS # 75001816), and the Victorian Gothic LDS Fifth Ward chapel at 740 South 300 West (NRIS # 78002670). The railroad depot— the D&RGW (Rio Grande) Depot (NRIS # 75001815) is a central-block-with-wings structure located at 300 South Rio Grande Street and designed by architect Henry S. Schlachs in Renaissance Revival and Beaux Arts styles.

Great Depression and World War II (1929 to 1945)