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Sunday Drives: Historic Main Street Buildings

We know well that Salt Lake City is home to some truly outstanding architecture. Our office on Exchange Place is surrounded by beautiful structures, some dating back to the late 19th century. Luckily, there still remains a handful of downtown buildings that have been beautifully preserved (or tastefully updated) in favor of demolition... something we always hope to see more of. We took a Sunday drive to shoot a few of those on Main that have managed to persevere and still stand today as incredible examples of varied architectural styles and our city's growth.


Eagle Emporium/Zions Bank, 102 S. Main St.

Year(s) Built: 1864 (clock added 1873)

Notable details: Built by Utah's first millionaire, it is our city's oldest existing commercial building, and it served as the first home to ZCMI. The clock used to be powered by a water wheel and the original sandstone facade was covered in a terra-cotta veneer in 1916.

The Boston & Newhouse Buildings, 10 Exchange Pl.

Year(s) Built: 1907 - 1915

Notable Details: One building is named for financier Samuel Newhouse, and the other for the city in which he had business interests. Beaux-Arts in style, they were designed by NY architect Henry Ives Cobb, and were considered Salt Lake's first skyscrapers.

The Karrick Block, 236 S. Main St.

Year(s) Built: 1887

Notable Details: Designed/built by architect Richard K.A. Kletting, who also designed our State Capitol building, the Karrick Block demonstrates urban design in the Victorian era. Just adjacent, the Lollin Block is another of Kletting's works.

The Daft Block (Beerhive Pub), 128 S. Main St.

Year(s) Built: 1887

Notable Details: Commissioned by Sarah Ann Daft, a widow who wisely invested her inheritance and built a hefty fortune. The Daynes Jewelry Company purchased the building in 1908. The elaborate facade is Richardsonian Romanesque in style.

The Kearns Building, 136 S. Main St.

Year(s) Built: 1909-1911

Notable Details: This Sullivanesque-style skyscraper was built by Thomas Kearns, a mining magnate and former Utah Senator who built and lived in what is now known as Governor's Mansion on South Temple. It has been said that the second-level faces on the facade of the building resemble his daughter.


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