Salt Lake City, United States of America

Reference work entry


Salt Lake City, the capital of Utah, is in the north of the state near to Great Salt Lake in the basin of Lake Bonneville. The major trade centre of Utah, the city is also known as the international headquarters of the Mormon Church and as the host city of the 2002 Winter Olympics.


Salt Lake City was built after Brigham Young, the leader of the Mormons (or Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), arrived in the area with his followers in 1847. In 1849 the name Great Salt Lake City was adopted and the city became capital of the new territory of Utah in 1856. The city’s name was shortened to Salt Lake City in 1868 and maintained its status as the capital when Utah was admitted to the Union in 1896. After 40 years of construction work the Mormon temple in the city was completed in 1893.

In the twentieth century the city thrived as its mining and manufacturing industries grew and it developed as a winter sports resort. In 2002 the city hosted the Winter Olympics.

Modern City

Salt Lake City International Airport is located 4 miles west of the downtown area. There is a Greyhound bus terminal and an Amtrak rail station and Gray Line runs bus tours of the city.

Lead, copper, silver, lead and zinc mining and processing operations near the city account for much of its economy. Other major products include metal goods, processed food, petroleum and textiles. Salt Lake City is also the seat of the University of Utah and Westminster College.

Places of Interest

Temple Square is the international headquarters of the Mormon Church and contains the 210 ft. high Temple (open only to confirmed Mormons), the Mormon Tabernacle and two visitor centres. The nearby Beehive House was built by Mormon leader Brigham Young in 1854 and now contains an exhibition on his life. Other Mormon visitor attractions include the Family History Library and the Museum of Church History and Art.

Utah State Capitol is located on a hill overlooking Temple Square. Other cultural institutions include the Hansen Planetarium and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. Symphony Hall houses the Utah Symphony Orchestra while the Utah Jazz basketball team play at the Delta Center.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

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