Skyscrapers and unique buildings have always been a particular fascination of mine. No matter where I travel to, I like to take the time (whenever possible) to tour the area and find the most unique buildings and structures. Recently, I traveled to Salt Lake for a convention at the Salt Palace and took it upon myself to research some of the cities’ largest buildings. Transportation around Salt Lake is a breeze compared to most major cities, which made it quite easy to get a glimpse of the tallest buildings in SLC possible in an afternoon. While Salt Lake City isn’t necessarily known for its high-rises, much like almost any city, it had several fairly tall and interesting buildings to note.
The Wells Fargo Center
Although the LDS Church building’s roof is taller due to its placement on the hill, the tallest building in both Salt Lake and the state of Utah is the Wells Fargo Center. The building was built in 1998, stands 422 feet tall and has a total of 24 stories. It was originally built to be the corporate headquarters for American Stores. The building was later purchased by Wasatch Property Management and renamed the Wells Fargo Center. Several floors of the building are occupied by Well Fargo, as well as numerous law firms throughout the building.
The LDS Office Building
The second-tallest building in Salt Lake is the LDS Church Office Building. This building was completed in 1972, stands 420 feet tall, and is 28 stories with an observation deck on the 26th floor which on a clear day, offers an exceptional view of the surrounding city and Salt Lake valley.
Fun Fact: The original plans for the LDS Church building called for it to be 38 stories tall, one story for every year that church organizer, Joseph Smith had lived. Due to the feasibility of plumbing and heating, caused the plans to be revised to 30 stories, and then down to the 28 stories that we see today.
111 South Main
Although not currently built, 111 South Main will be Salt Lake City’s 3rd tallest building. After doing some research on http://www.111mainslc.com/ I found that the building is slated to be 380 feet tall, and will feature 24 stories of column-free office space. Other key features include LEED Gold Efficiency Certification, a 35 foot tall glass lobby windows, floor to ceiling glass windows, and the Eccles theater next door which will feature Broadway Caliber shows.
99 West Tower at City Creek Center
Standing at 375 feet tall, 99 West is Utah’s tallest residential tower. The building, which contains 30 floors of residential space, was built in 2010 as part of the City Creek Mall downtown redevelopment plan.
This building is also LEED Gold Certified and features a grand lobby on the main floor, 3 high speed elevators, and a Social Room that is equipped with a catering kitchen and fireplace.
Condominium units go for as much as $2,500,000 and feature private patios with glass balcony railings, offering a birds-eye view of Salt Lake and the City Creek Center below. They also feature open floor plans, 9-foot ceilings, and hardwood flooring. Bathrooms feature slab marble counter-tops with frame-less European-styled glass shower enclosures.
The Key Bank Tower at City Creek
Formerly known as the Beneficial Life Tower, The Key Bank Tower stands 351 feet tall and features 27 floors of Commercial Office Space. The building was originally built in 1976, but was remodeled as part of the City Creek development project. The project involved eliminated the parking garage and converting the base of the tower into a glass food court for both building tenants and mall guests.
One Utah Center
One of Utah’s most stylish skyscrapers is the One Utah Building. It was built by the Boyer Company in 1991 and stands 350 feet tall. The exterior of the building is constructed of granite and glass and features 24 stories of premium office space.
Beneficial Financial Group Tower
Originally known as the Gateway Tower West, The Beneficial Financial Group Tower was constructed in 1998, stands 335 feet tall and features 20 stories of office space. The building was envisioned as part of a new urban ensemble, alongside the Zions Bank Tower, forming a portal to Salt Lake’s central business district to the LDS Church Campus.
The Grand America Hotel
The Grand America is Utah’s only 5 diamond hotel. It was constructed in 2001 and is located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City. The main building stands 249 feet, but reaches a total of 328 feet with the cupola and flag pole that sits atop the building.
The facade of the hotel is covered in over 300,000 square feet of Vermont White Granite. The interior features Venetian and Milanese Chandeliers as well as all-wool carpets imported from England. The hotel features a total of 775 rooms and suites, numerous conference rooms and meeting centers, a full service spa, outdoor and indoor pools, exercise facilities, a bar, full-service restaurant, and a lounge area.
Other Buildings of Interest:
The Salt Lake City and County Building
Constructed in 1894, the Salt Lake City and County Building stands 256 feet tall at the top of the statue of Columbia, which stands at the top of the clock tower. The building remains Utah’s 14th tallest building to date. The building served as the state capitol when Utah was granted statehood in 1896 until the current capitol was constructed in 1896.
At the time of its construction, the building went well over budget. The building was originally estimated to cost $350,000 but by the time of the building’s dedication on December 28, 1894, costs had nearly reached $900,000. Due to this and the panic of 1893, plans for large stained glass windows for the building were cut from the designs.
The building features 5 floors and over 100 rooms. The 3rd floor houses the mayor’s office in the south wing and the city council chamber on the north. Also featured on the floor is an exhibit commemorating the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games.
Onyx lines the halls of each floor. The exterior of the building is made of carved Utah Kyune Sandstone. Many of statues lining the grounds had gone missing but were replaced during the building’s renovation in 1989.
The Salt Lake LDS Temple
One of the top tourist attractions in Salt Lake City is Temple Square, which features the LDS Temple as its centerpiece. The Salt Lake temple was dedicated in 1893 and took over 40 years to complete. During the time it took to construct, the St. George, Logan, and Manti Utah temples were all started and completed.
The exterior of the temple is made from quartz monzonite which was mined from the nearby Cottonwood Canyon. It is the church’s largest temple with an estimated 253,000 square feet. The towers of the temple reach 223 feet in height, making the Temple the 26th tallest building in Utah.
While the Temple Square grounds are open to the public, the Temple is only open to members of the church who have received what is called a “Temple Recommend.”
Much like the Granby Tower, the Gehtry project was to feature a mixed use development which was to feature a 450ft tall hotel at the center, making it Utah’s new tallest building. The project was slated to be built at the point of the mountain in Lehi Utah, about 30 minutes south of Salt Lake City.
The 85-acre development was also to feature a man-made lake and was to be a multi-billion dollar project. Zoning was approved to move forward with the project by Lehi’s City Council. However, the plans fell through after Frank Gehtry essentially vanished to California, presumably due to the market crash in 2008.
Although, the Gehtry project is presumed dead, talks have begun to speculate from the mayor of Draper for a development which is now the State Penitentiary into a development featuring “multiple 50 story buildings.” If the mayor get his wish, these building could surpass the tallest in Salt Lake by at least 300 feet.