Utah’s First Sunday School
This marker was erected in 1945 to commemorate the first Sunday school that took place near here nearly 100 years earlier.
One early 20th-century journalist declared the Kearns Building was “The real Capitol of Utah.” The building housed many influential businesses and trade associations as wel las the office of Thomas Kearns, one of Utah’s most influential men. Kearns worked as a miner in Park City for six years before leasing a rich vein of unclaimed silver ore in 1889. Kearns’s mining holdings made him a multi-millionaire. He also served as a U.S. Senator from Utah and owned an interest in The Salt Lake Tribune.
The Kearns Building is the best example of a Sullivanesque style skyscraper in the Intermountain West. The female faces on the second level are said to resemble Kearns’s daughter, Helen.
The ornate Daft Block was completed in 1889 for Sarah Daft. Widowed in 1881, Daft built the inheritance left by her husband into a sizable fortune through wise investments in mining and real estate. At her death, her wealth endowed the Sarah Daft Retirement Home. The designer of the Daft Black, E.L.T. Harrison, was an important early Utah architect. The Daft Block features an unusual projecting two-story bay window and a profusion of carved stone and wood details. On the north side of the building you can still see the sign for the Daynes Jewelry Company which bought the Daft Block in 1908. The company’s founder, John Daynes, was an expert jeweler and Brigham Young’s watchmaker.
Eagle Emporium Building
Built in 1864, The Eagle Emporium Building is the oldest existing commercial building in downtown Salt Lake City. William Jennings, Utah’s first millionaire, constructed the building to house his mercantile business. The Eagle Emporium Building was also the first home of the Zion’s Cooperative Mercantile Institution.
At Brigham Young’s request, Jennings exchanged his emporium’s inventory for stock in the new ZCMI and leased this building to the cooperative in 1868.
The ornate clock in front of this building is one of the few remaining pieces of 19th-century street furniture in downtown. The clock was erected in 1873 and first powered by a water wheel.
“The Eagle Gate was erected in 1859, Hiram B. Clawson, designer; Ralph Ramsay and William Bell, carvers. It formed a part of a cobble stone wall, 8 feet high and 500 rods long, which surrounded the grounds of President Brigham Young and was built by him as a protection against Indians, and to furnish labor to the unemployed. Torn down in 1890 to widen the street and to permit the passage of electric cars. Rebuilt in 1891.”
When the Eagle Gate was reconstructed and dedicated October 5, 1891, a treasure box was sealed in the granite base containing newspapers, photographic views, personal cards and a copper plate engraved by David McKenzie, Containing the paragraph quoted above.
The 16 foot wooden eagle, weighing 500 pounds, the beehive and four-way wooden supports were placed in March 1859, over the original gate way, leading to City Creek Canyon and the private grounds of Brigham Young, Governor of Utah.
At the time of reconstruction the original wooden eagle was sent to Chicago, Electroplated with copper and replaced over the present gate.
A Private School House
Built by Brigham Young for his own children – stood on this corner lot 1860 – 1903 This early school was directed by Eli B. Kelsey, who in soliciting additional students, announced in the Deseret News December 12, 1860, as follows: “President Young not only intends it to be used for the education of own family during the day, but purposes it to be thoroughly devoted to further educational purposes in the evenings, including the teaching of vocal music.
“Mr. David O. Calder will open therein two classes for young persons of both sexes, in order that a competent number may be thoroughly taught this simple and beautiful science, so that a uniform system of teaching may be adopted throughout all the schools of the territory. The produce of the valley will be taken in payment for tuition.”
Alta Club Building
This building has housed the Alta Club for over 100 years. Prominent Utah businessmen founded the exclusive club in 1883. The original members were all non-Mormons and most were involved in the mining industry. The Alta Club’s official exclusion of Mormons reflects the deep divisions between Mormons and non-Mormons in late 19th-century Utah. After the turn of the century, the club gradually began to admit Mormons and helped promote accommodation between the two communities. The Alta Club now welcomes women as members also. Salt Lake City architect Frederick A. Hale designed the Alta Club in the Italian Renaissance style which was popular for men’s clubs.
Salt Lake City Public Libary / Hansen Planetarium
Dedicated October 27, 1905
Built of Sanpete Limestone with a donation from John A. Packard, Tintic Mining District Millionaire.
Designed by Heins & Lefarge of New York.
Planetarium established 1965 as a memorial to George T. Hansen by his wife.
The Ladies Literary Society is responsible for the construction of the Salt Lake City Public Library Building. These women promoted Utah’s first tax for the support of public libraries in 1898. They then convinced mining millionaire John Q. Packard to donate both the land and funds for constructing the state’s first public library building.
The Salt Lake City Public Library Building is a good example of the Beaux Arts Style architecture. This style, which combines classical motifs with elaborate decorative elements, was popular for large public buildings at the turn of the century. Look for the library’s ornate stone gable and two-story entrance pavilion.
Location: 51 South and State St. – Social Hall Ave.
This monument marks the site of the Social Hall, the first recreation center in the intermountain west. Built by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints under the direction of Brigham Young. Made of plastered adobe walls with native wood floors and roof. Auditorium 40 by 60 feet, seating 350 persons – stage 20 by 40 feet – dressing rooms and banquet hall in basement. Dedicated January 1, 1853.
Here the Deseret Dramatic Association conducted many home talent theatricals, musicales and other festivities. Sessions of the Legislature, official meetings, receptions, banquets, and other social functions were held here. It was used as theatre, library and gymnasium by the Mutual Improvement Associations.
In 1922 the building was razed.
Mountain States Telephone & Telegraph Building
The Mountain States Telephone & Telegraph Company finished the first two stories of this building in 1939. The additional four stories were added in 1947 as the demand for telephones boomed after World War II. This building is one of the relatively rare examples of Art Deco style architecture in Utah. Look for shallow pilasters dividing the facade into narrow bays and a wide band of low-relief ornament just above the first story. Also note the plaque commemorating the Salt Lake Theatre on the southeast corner of the building. Built on this site in 1862, the elegant 1,500-seat theater provided a venue for the city’s flourishing amateur theater groups.