See a slideshow of South Temple Street, Salt Lake City
In 2008, the American Planning Association selected South Temple Street as one of 10 Great Streets in America for its “historical residential design and craftsmanship, diversity of land uses, and the integration of multiple forms of transportation throughout history...”
The APA wrote this history about South Temple:
First conceptualized in Joseph Smith's Plat of Zion of 1833 and later employed by Brigham Young in 1847, South Temple Street was meant to be the finest and most prominent avenue in Salt Lake City, as well as a model for other cities and towns in the West.
Young and other church leaders built their homes and community buildings on the dirt road that was South Temple. Late in the 1800s, as mining became an economic powerhouse in Utah, the wealthiest families built their mansions along the street.
Other buildings included the Mormon and Masonic temples, Presbyterian and Catholic churches, and historic fraternal clubs.
Unfortunately, amendments to the city's zoning ordinance in 1976 encouraged commercial development and higher residential densities. The consequences were profound. As property values increased, significant structures were lost.
Citizens worked to fight this trend, and due to their efforts South Temple was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
Citizens worked to protect the historic buildings as well as small, important details, such as carriage steps, hitching posts, and sandstone retaining walls. The city even turned the original lattice posts used for streetcars into modern-day streetlamps.
Mature shade trees, sidewalks, bike lanes, light rail stations, and many historic buildings—including the Kearns Mansion, where the governor lives—make South Temple the extraordinary street it is today.
See a slideshow of historic South Temple photos.