Z.C.M.I. – One of the last remaining fragments of the pioneer era
For more than 100 years, this cast iron and sheet metal facade greeted shoppers at Z.C.M.I.’s flagship store. Zion’s Cooperative Mercantile Institution was formed by Mormon merchants in 1868 at the behest of Brigham Young to combat the economic influences of mining and the transcontinental railroad. The enterprise intended to support local manufacturing, control prices, and invest profits back into the community. Its success spawned similar institutions throughout the Intermountain West and eventually inaugurated a major department store chain. Z.C.M.I. was sold in 1999 to May Company. May Co. was sold in 2005 to Federated Department Stores which owns Macy’s.
Salt Lake City merchants belonging to Z.C.M.I. first consolidated in one building – with an elaborate facade – at this location in 1876. When the building was torn down in 1973, the facade, which had been remodeled several times, was preserved and adapted as a store entrance, as it has been again in City Creek Center.