The Avenues

 

THE AVENUES is a neighborhood in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is named after the perfectly grid-like, closely laid out roads called Avenues and Streets. First surveyed in the 1850s, the Avenues became Salt Lake City's first neighborhood. Today, the Avenues neighborhood is generally considered younger, more progressive, and somewhat "artsy" when compared to other neighborhoods. Many young professionals choose to live there due to the culture and easy commute to downtown. It is also one of the most important strongholds of the Democratic political party in Utah.

Originally, all of the streets were named. North-south streets were named for trees, and east-west streets had names like "Fruit," "Garden," "Bluff," and "Wall" (for what are now 2nd through 5th avenue respectively.) By 1885 the north-south streets gained their current alphabetical designations (A Street through V Street, although V was turned into Virginia Street.) However, the east-west streets were still known as Streets. They were not retitled into Avenues until 1907. Up until that time, the area was known as "the dry bench" because it lacked water.

Until 1884, residents in the northeastern Avenues had to haul water for everyday use. Protests prompted the city to install pipelines along 6th Avenue, but those living in the higher Avenues would be without water until 1908. In spite of water problems, the Avenues proved to be an attractive residential neighborhood. In the southwest Avenues, artisans could live very close to downtown. In the east Avenues, "Butcherville" sprang up after slaughterhouses relocated to the east side in 1860.

Transportation was a major draw for settlement in the Avenues. The Salt Lake Railway Company offered mule and horse-drawn trolley rides in the Avenues by 1872, and the trolleys became electric in 1889. Salt Lake Rapid Transit Company incorporated in 1890 and the companies competed fiercely until merging in 1903. The trolley system expanded to other parts of the city as the Utah Light and Traction Company, but rail lines were denser in the Avenues than any other part of the city save downtown. The tracks were removed in the 1940s after National City Lines acquired (and dismantled) the trolley lines. Now there are major UTA bus routes throughout the Avenues to all Salt Lake Valley locations.

At the turn of the century, the neighborhood was a predominantly middle- and upper-middle class trolley suburb, and home to many professionals. The furthest Southern border of the Avenues is the historic South Temple Street, lined with gorgeous mansions left over from sheep and mining barons of the 19th Century and early 20th Century. The governor’s mansion is also on South Temple. .

The old Primary Children’s Hospital was located at the top of the Avenues. This wonderful acreage and its beautiful historic buildings have been rehabilitated into one of the most expensive luxury condominium projects in the Salt Lake Valley. At the east end of the Avenues is the Shriners Hospital, which is located at the north end of the University of Utah, the new Primary Childrens Hospital and the Huntsman Cancer Center.

Planning and Zoning hadn’t always been a priority in the Avenues prior to the 1980’s, so the area feels similar to other big cities where a 1960’s era apartment building might sit next to a row of Victorian Mansions ending at a neighborhood chocolate store. Historic preservation is a huge priority for Avenues residents now with restrictive Zoning ordinances in place to protect history and neighborhoods. The Avenues Community Council is one of the most vocal groups recognized in the City.

Many people live in the Avenues because of views of the city or because of it’s close proximity to running and hiking trails in the hills or ‘benches’ behind the Avenues.It is also on direct and very reliable bus routes to the Universtiy of Utah, University Hospital and the Huntsman Center as well as downtown.  The main Salt Lake City Cemetery is located at the East end of the area, just before the Shriners Hospital location.

URBAN UTAH HOMES & ESTATES Salt Lake City real estate agents who live in the Avenues are (hyperlink to their contact info) Leslye Stratton and Susannah Seare.  Return to Home.