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Tours & Places

Mormon Trail

The Mormon Trail

Orson Pratt led the forward party that entered the Salt Lake Valley on July 22, 1847. Their route into the valley was over Big Mountain and down through Emigration Canyon. Brigham Young was delayed by illness and entered the valley on July 24.

1. This Is The Place Monument

On July 24, 1847, Brigham Young's group went down the north bank of Emigration Creek to a spot near where the monument  now stands. This Is The Place Heritage Park 

2. Donner Hill

Just before the mouth of Emigration Canyon the pioneers found wagon tracks going over a very steep hill (#2). On August 21, 1846, the Donner-Reed party, despairing of cutting through the final tangle of brush, double-teamed their tired oxyen to pull their wagons out of the canyon into the Salt Lake valley.

3. Little Mountain

Wagons could not sidehill to the top of Little Mountain as the present road does.  Instead, the trail continued down the canyon bottom, now under Little Dell Reservoir, to an area below the dam. There the pioneers hitched multiple teams of stock together to pull the wagons straight up the slope. On the summit, they locked their wheels for brakes and slid straight down the other side into Emigration Canyon.

4. Willow Springs

Good water and adequate forage were extremely important for emigrants and their animals. Willow Springs, in the canyon below, provided plenty of cold spring water, abundant grass in a large meadow, and a good place to camp. It was the most important campground and resting spot on the trail between Large Spring Camp and Emigration Canyon.

5. Big Mountain Pass

From this vantage point the pioneers caught their first glimpse of the valley and the Great Salt Lake. As you stand on the summit gazing out at the valley, look down at the western slope and remember that the wagons had no switchbacks cut in the side of the hill. They had to go straight down that hill, and on the way back east they had to go straight up the hill.

The 1,300 mile route is a part of the United States National Trails System. For information on the Mormon Trail contact:

National Park Service
Long Distance Trails Office
324 South State Street, Suite 250
Salt Lake City, UT 84145-0155
801 539-4095
MOPI_Interpretation@nps.gov

Pioneer Memorial Museum

Pioneer Memorial Museum

The Pioneer Memorial Museum is noted as the world's largest collection of artifacts on one particular subject. The museum features displays and collections of memorabilia from the time the earliest settlers entered the valley of the Great Salt Lake until the joining of the railroads at a location known as Promontory, Utah, on May 10, 1869.  The Daughters of Utah Pioneers is actively working to preserve the history and artifacts of its pioneer ancestors. This museum has the finest collection of pioneer memorabilia in the Intermountain West. The museum is open to the public free of charge.

Pioneer Memorial Museum
300 North Main Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84103
801 538-1050

This is the Place Heritage Park

This is the Place Heritage Park

At This Is The Place Heritage Park discover not only what life was like without modern conveniences, but also just how innovative these early pioneers could be. They figured out ways to survive in a land many explorers considered unlivable.

This Is The Place Heritage Park is located at the mouth of Emigration Canyon.  Next to Old Deseret Village is This Is The Place Monument that commemorates the location where the Mormon settlers entered the valley in 1847 and marks the end of the 1,300 mile Mormon Trail.

This Is The Place Heritage Park
2601 East Sunnyside Avenue (800 South)
Salt Lake City, UT 84108
801 582-1847

Chase Home Museum

Chase Home Museum of Folk Arts

The Chase Home Museum of Folk Arts is the only state museum of its kind in the country. It has become the place where traditional artists from Utah's ethnic, native, occupational, and rural communities share their craft, music and dance with their own communities, their fellow Utahns, and visitors from around the world.

Admission is free. The museum is currently open daily, Monday through Thursday from noon to 5 p.m., and Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Join us Monday evenings at 7 p.m. for free outdoor concerts and folk and ethnic music and dance.

Liberty Park
500 East 900 South
Salt Lake City, UT
801.533.5760

Native Gallery

Native Gallery

The Native Gallery contains art objects made by Utah's American Indian Population. Today's Native Americans perpetuate the traditional skills of their ancestors by using natural resources to create handmade objects that express their cultural identity.

Ethnic Gallery

Ethnic Gallery

The Ethnic Gallery features traditional art from many of Utah's national, ethnic, racial and immigrant communities. Ethnic art objects, made for home use or for cultural, social, or religious celebrations, reinforce ethnic heritage, religious belief and community identity.

Japanese origami, Chinese paper cuts, Mexican paper flowers and piñatas, Polynesian quilts, Swedish weaving, and objects made form clay, wood, and fiber are among the variety of arts featured in the Ethnic Gallery.

Occupational Gallery

Occupational Gallery

Some occupations, especially those that rely upon expertise and skills handed down from earlier generations, produce work that is considered art.

Among the occupational folk arts still actively practiced today in Utah are stone carving, stone masonry, blacksmithing, welding and forging, and a variety of skills used in the production of cowboy and horse gear

Rural Gallery

Rural Gallery

The Rural Gallery features the handmade objects, created from surplus or readily available materials, which often furnish or decorate Utah homes. A variety of braided, loomed, hooked, and crocheted rugs made from leftover fabric, furniture made from local willow or pine, and objects whittled or carved from scraps of wood are displayed.

Created to add both comfort and beauty to everyday life, these arts reflect the need to productively use ones available time by recycling whatever is at hand and creatively transforming it into something both useful and beautiful.

Walking Tours

The story of Salt Lake City's settlement and growth is written in the historic buildings of its downtown. These tours explore over 100 years of history and architecture in Salt Lake City. Each tour is designed to last approximately an hour, taking you to unique buildings and historical locations within the city.

For tour guides and other information contact:
Utah Heritage Foundation
P. O. Box 28
Salt Lake City, UT 84118
801 533.0858

North Downtown Heritage Tour

Tours North Downtown

The early history of Salt Lake City is dominated by the story of its Mormon settlers. These settlers came to Utah as a centrally organized group dedicated to establishing their vision of a perfect society—the Kingdom of God on earth. Accordingly, there was no distinction between religious and secular life in early Salt Lake City.

The north end of Salt Lake City's downtown is a good place to view buildings and sites that reflect the city's early Mormon heritage. Church leaders, cultural institutions, business enterprises, and church offices tended to cluster near Temple Square, the geographic heart of the Mormon utopia.

Your walk through downtown's history will take about one hour. The tour ends on Main Street just one block south of the starting point at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.

Main Street Tour

Tours Main St.

Today Main Street is the heart of Salt Lake City's central business district, but it was not always so. The original plans for Salt Lake City did not include a business district. By 1850 small stores began to spring up along Main Street to serve the needs of the local farmers and tradesmen, as well as travelers passing through town. The completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 ended Salt Lake City's isolation from the rest of the country and initiated the economic and social transformation of the state.

Walking along Main Street you can see the transformation set in motion by the railroad in the city's historic buildings. At the northern end of the street are buildings that reflect the early Mormon vision of a local, self-sufficient economy. As you walk south see buildings constructed with the wealth that flowed out of Utah's mines and connected the state to the national and international economy.

Your walk through Main Street's history will take about one hour. The tour ends at 300 South. Ride the light rail or a free bus to return to the starting point at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.

Time Travel on Main Street Tour

Tours Main St.

Do you ever wish you could talk to someone who lived over 100 years ago and ask them what life was like back then? The people who lived 100 years ago are no longer here, but some of the buildings they built are. If you ask these buildings the right questions, they can transport you back in time.

We are used to seeing many buildings every day. But have you ever really looked at a building? Have you wondered why buildings look the way they do? Or what they are made of? Or who planned and built them? Or how they were used a long time ago?

These are the kinds of questions you need to ask to begin traveling through time. Keep them in mind as you walk through Main Street's history today.

Your walk through Main Street's history will take about 40 minutes. The tour ends at 200 South. You can ride light rail or a free bus to return to the starting point at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.

Exchange Place and Market Street Tour

Tours Exchange

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries Salt Lake City was sharply divided into Mormon and non-Mormon communities. Mormons and non-Mormons tended to live in different neighborhoods and had separate school systems, commercial organizations, and social groups.

The divide between Mormons and non-Mormons shaped the development of Salt Lake City's downtown. By the late 19th century Mormon-owned businesses were clustered at the north end of downtown near Temple Square. Non-Mormon-owned businesses tended to locate south of 200 South Street. This tour includes the buildings of Exchange Place and those non-Mormon groups and businessmen of this era.

The walk through Exchange Place and Market Street will take about one hour. The tour ends on Main Street just one block west of the starting point at the Salt Lake City and County Building.

Gateway-Railroad District Tour

Tours Gateway

In 1870 the first trains rolled through Salt Lake City. The arrival of the railroad opened a world of opportunities for local entrepreneurs, travelers, and immigrants seeking work and a new home. The buildings featured in this tour catered to the businesses and people whose lives centered on the railroad. During the 1880's and 1890's, a variety of wholesale and light manufacturing enterprises constructed buildings along the tracks to take advantage of the improved distribution the railroad offered

During these decades, substantial numbers of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe and Asia arrived in Salt Lake City. Greek, Italian, and Japanese neighborhoods formed near the rail yards where many immigrants worked. Several buildings which document the immigrant experience remain in the area.

Your walk through the Gateway–Railroad District will take about one hour. The tour ends on 200 South and 200 West, just one-half block west of the starting point at the Patrick Dry Goods Company Building.

Historic South Temple Street

Tours South Temple

South Temple was designated Salt Lake City's first historic district in 1975 and a National Register Historic District in 1982. Walking along South Temple today you will see the beautiful homes of some of Utah's most influential families, magnificent churches, impressive clubhouses, and one of the city's first hospitals. Many of these buildings represent the finest work of Utah's most prominent architects. They reflect a wide range of architectural styles and in some instances are the best example of a particular style in the state.

The Historic South Temple Street Walking Tour visits 39 buildings and sites along South Temple from State Street to Virginia Street. Completing the tour on foot requires approximately 2.5 hours. The route in one direction is 1.8 miles long.

Salt Palace

Welcome to the Public Art Collection at the Salt Palace Convention Center. Much care has gone into the selection, installation, and maintenance of five major works of art, specifically for the enjoyment of visitors and residents of Salt Lake County. Each work is unique and strives to illuminate the beauty and environment that is Salt Lake County and Utah.

100 South West Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84111

56 views of Salt Lake City

As you wander the many halls of the Convention Center, you will be pleasantly surprised to encounter Paul Heath's "56 Views of Salt Lake." Located on the stairway going down toward the lower and most westerly halls, each painting shares a vignette of the nooks and crannies of the City.

Salt Palace Mural

Like small snapshots, Paul Heath's work focuses on the many unique landmarks that are in Salt Lake City. Many of these odd and curious images often go unnoticed as you drive around the City. They hearken back to the type of advertising done in the 50's—big, plastic models enticing drivers to come to a store.

Heath has worked for several years documenting local areas. He creates murals, often about five feet long and one foot high, depicting a particular block or corner. The murals are made out of wood and are layered to give a sense of depth. These small, bas relief dioramas are incredibly detailed and take several weeks to make.

The mural in the Convention Center depicts many of the most identifiable images from around the City. It is almost like a map of the famous - and not so famous - landmarks around town. Residents of Salt Lake City will probably be able to identify many of the images they see here. Heath's work tends to be very realistic, yet is produced in a very stylized manner. His images evoke memories or stories about the objects depicted.

Paul Heath works in his studio in Salt Lake City. He has a Bachelor's of Fine Art in painting and drawing from the University of Utah.

Breeze

As you continue past "Maran" and enter the Salt Palace near the smaller tower, you are swept into the connecting concourse. Jun Kaneko's immense tile wall greets visitors and gives them an abstract representation of the Salt Lake valley and surrounding mountains.

Salt Palace Breeze

The simple lines of Brodauf Craig's sculpture echo the very basic beauty of the work. Brodauf Craig's sculptures rely on basic elements of line, texture and color to hold the viewer. Her work evokes a mood, contemplation, and a stirring of the soul. She is a master sculptor who understands the nature of her medium, its strengths, weaknesses and possibilities. She creates but does not control, thereby allowing her figures to emerge into their own.p>

Brodauf Craig's sculpture involves the implied element of motion and simple actions like lifting and holding. The materials she chooses allow her to explore color through patinas—the chemical coloring of metals and texture. Apparent throughout her work is a sense of balance and duality; a yin yang of opposites. The opposing forces, in complement, are united into a wholeness that hints of perfection and sensibility.

This work has two large stainless steel forms mounted on top of two granite pedestals. The wave-like shape of the stainless steel forms gives a sense of motion to the viewer. The placement on top of the pedestals puts the work above the viewer, giving an increased sense of scale. The two rectangle columns gives the forms separation, strength and stability. These columns provide a contrast to the free flowing motion of the horizontal shapes above.

Ursula Brodauf Craig was born in Gmenhainichen, Germany, a small town renowned for its woodcarvers near the Czechoslovak border. She apprenticed under master woodcarver Emil Helbig, yet retained a strong desire to be a sculptor. Not until after World War II could she experience artistic freedom and follow her creative impulses. Brodauf Craig works in her studio in Emigration Canyon in Salt Lake City. She has a Master's degree in sculpture from the Master School of Art, Division of Academy of Art, Berlin, Germany.

Salt Palace Wall

As you continue past "Maran" and enter the Salt Palace near the smaller tower, you are swept into the connecting concourse. Jun Kaneko's immense tile wall greets visitors and gives them an abstract representation of the Salt Lake valley and surrounding mountains.

Salt Palace Wall

Ceramic artist Kaneko's work carries a great presence with it, both physically and conceptually. The long, curving wall comprised of over 1,000 tiles is a bold and immense work of art. Kaneko's other work tends to push the limits of the traditional size of most ceramics. His large, ceramic sculptural forms range from five to 11 feet tall. He has built ceramic walls, such as this one, covering hundreds of square feet.

This work, titled "Salt Palace Wall," is one of the largest works that Kaneko had been commissioned to create. Each tile is hand made, having been pounded repetitively to remove the memory of the clay. If this were not done, the clay would roll up on the sides when it was fired. Then, working from a small model made of photographs, Kaneko applied the glazes to each tile. After the tiles were fired in a kiln, they were shipped here and installed on this wall in the same manner you would install bathroom tile.

The pattern of the tile slowly shifts along the wall, from horizontal lines to random shapes, changing pace as the viewer walks along the wall. Kaneko states, "The powerful nature of Salt Lake City, surrounded with horizontal fields of the Great Salt Lake and desert, and the vertical environment of the Wasatch Mountains, makes Salt Lake unique in its natural environment and drama. The energy of the sunlight mixing with the horizontal and vertical elements of nature makes me dream of patterns I have never thought of before.

"People in Salt Lake have strong ideals and hopes for mankind. Since its expansion the City grew up with a balance of nature and human dignity. I hope this visual presentation of ceramic tiles will create a powerful pattern to congratulate citizens and welcome visitors to the Salt Palace."

Jun Kaneko works out of his warehouse studio in Omaha, Nebraska. He received his Master's degree from Claremont Graduate School.

Maran

To the north, off of South Temple, Neil Hadlock's bronze sculpture, "Maran," sits directly in front of the box office of Abravanel Hall and helps tie the Convention Center to the symphonic auditorium.

Salt Palace Breeze

The bold, massive form of Hadlock's work is an abstract shape which allows viewers to make their own interpretations of the work. "Art is a configuration of what we sense about living," says Hadlock. "Somehow it ties to a universal language through which thoughts are shared. It is the perception that there is in fact a language which generates the desire to make art. I was first interested in metals and paint as they were used to build potato digging equipment long before I realized artists made sculpture from the same materials."

In order to shape his sculpture, Hadlock creates a wooden template of the design and carefully applies the texture with a type of plaster or drywall compound. He then cuts the template into manageable sizes and makes a sand mold of each section. This process is called sand casting. The sand casts are filled with molten bronze. When the bronze cools, it forms sheets about one half inch to one inch thick. After making all the required plates, Hadlock welds them together into the final shape of the sculpture and inserts special bracing inside the work. This allows the sculpture to be hollow instead of solid. Even so, the work weighs about 4,000 lbs.

Raised in St. Anthony, Idaho, Hadlock spent countless hours with his father and his two grandfathers, one a blacksmith and the other a painter. "I lived pretty much in a world where ideas could happen," he describes, "and although many things have changed and become more complicated, I still live with the thought that ideas become real." His work reflects his knowledge of forged materials and incorporates a clearly aesthetic eye. You may have noticed another one of his sculptures in the area—he created the work in front of the Delta Center entitled "An Urban Allegory."

Hadlock works at his foundry in American Fork, Utah. He earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

Salt Palace Windmills

Approaching the Entry Tower on West Temple, Patrick Zentz's Salt Palace "Windmills" catch your attention and remind us that although we may quickly enter the shelter of the Convention Center, the effect of the outside environment is still with us. Upon entering the Tower, you sense another effect of the "Windmills" through the acoustic sound boxes.

Salt Palace Breeze

Montana artist Patrick Zentz's work is the most noticeable of the commissioned works. The 12 large windmills along West Temple are part of a machine that translates a facet of the Salt Lake City environment into sound. The rotational movement of each windmill is electronically encoded. These signals are fed into 12 tonally distinct percussion instruments within the large tower. Patterns of wind activity are thus translated into shifting patterns of sound within the atrium space.

At a moment in American history when, for the first time, there are more people working in art related fields than on family farms and ranches, Patrick Zentz, Montana rancher and artist, occupies a unique position. His works take form from a series of recognitions related to his farming activity. Using seed drills, shredders, combines and other equipment to work his land in south central Montana, Zentz realized about two decades ago that there is in the mechanized activity of the farmer a significant frontier between man made, technological works and the work of nature. Farming is an activity where humankind uses tools to change the landscape. Zentz' artworks invert this relationship. Resembling pieces of scientific equipment, they exist to be acted upon by nature, not to transform it. Meticulously crafted and often delicately beautiful, Zentz' mechanisms are energized by the forces of nature wind, flowing water, changing temperatures, and register these elements in gracefully mediated graphic or musical forms.

Patrick Zentz grew up on a ranch southwest of Billings. He majored in biology (BA, 1969, Westmont College, Santa Barbara, California) and sculpture (MFA, 1974 University of Montana). In 1978, he returned to ranching and farming. He develops ideas for sculpture as he works the land and has produced a long series of finely crafted instruments designed, for example, to translate the line of the horizon into a rhythmical passage of sounds or make a drawing based on the fluctuations of the wind.

State Capitol

State Capitol with Flag

The current Capitol building is actually Utah's second. Originally, the territorial government met in Fillmore, Utah. Fillmore was chosen because of its central geographical location. However, since most of the territory's population lived in and around Salt Lake City, the legislature met at different locations around the city.

Ground breaking for the Capitol building took place on December 26, 1912. The edifice was dedicated nearly four years later on October 9, 1916. The Capitol was built to dimensions of 404 feet long, 240 feet wide, and 286 feet tall in a Renaissance Revival Style. The exterior is of unpolished granite, as are the 52 segmented Corinthian columns.

State Capitol Rotunda

Rotunda

The Rotunda reaches 165 feet at its highest point. Twelve paintings around the arches and rotunda were a WPA undertaking during the depression years. The murals are epic in nature and contain over 100 figures, many of which are 10 feet tall.

 

The four largest paintings depict important scenes in the state's early history: the Dominguez-Escalante Expedition of 1776; John C. Fremont, who mapped the west for the federal government; Peter Skene Ogden, representing the heyday of Utah's lucrative fur trade from 1820-1850; and Brigham Young and Mormon pioneers who entered the Salt Lake valley in the summer of 1847.

 
State Capitol Gold Room

Gold Room

The State Reception Room was designed to accommodate important state functions. The marble is a local Golden Traverse, the table wood is Russian Circassian walnut, and the chairs are upholstered in English coronation velvet. The three-piece hand-tied carpet includes a picture of a beehive, the state symbol denoting industry.

The mirrors and chandeliers are imported from France. The green velvet cloth and tapestries are Italian. The ceiling is adorned with a painting titled "Children at Play" with accents of 23-carat gold.

The original cost of furnishings was about $65,000 but are now valued at several million dollars.

 
State Capitol Governor's Office

Governor's Office

The offices directly west of the Gold Room are those of the governor, the state's chief executive, and the lieutenant governor. Paintings in the surrounding halls make up the Governors Gallery and honor all those who have served as governor of Utah since statehood in 1896.

The interior of the Capitol is lined with massive Ionic columns. Each is carved from one piece of marble and weighs 25,000 pounds. They are believed to be the largest solid marble columns in America. On the walls, unique marble panels, which are both horizontally and vertically symmetrical, were achieved by sawing a large block of marble in four slices and opening it up like a map.

 
State House of Representatives chambers

House of Representatives

On the west end of the third floor is the House of Representatives. This body shares the responsibility of making laws for the state with the Senate.

Above the two side entrance doors you will see the state flower, the Sego Lily. The prominent painting is of LDS Church President and first Territorial Governor Brigham Young examining a block of granite destined to be part of the LDS (Mormon) Temple in downtown Salt Lake City.

 
State Senate Chambers

Senate

The Senate is housed on the north side of the third floor. Like the House, the Senate chamber has a public viewing gallery. The chamber walls are onyx from central Utah. The prominent mural is of Utah Lake near Provo, 40 miles south of Salt Lake City.

 

 

 

 
State Surpreme Court

Supreme Court

On the east end of the third floor is the Supreme Court, which is the highest court of appeal in the state judicial system and also rules on the constitutionality of state laws.

The historic courtroom is used for oral arguments during the annual legislative session and ceremonial functions

 
 
 
 
 
State Surpreme Gardens

Gardens

The gardens around the Capitol bloom with color from spring through fall. On the southeast corner is the popular "Date Garden" depicting calendar dates.

Prominent landmarks on the grounds are the Vietnam Memorial, a replica statue of Chief Massasoit at Plymouth, Massachusetts sculpted by Utahn Cyrus Dallin, and the Mormon Battalion Monument.